Most of the Christian world celebrated Easter last week, except for Eastern Orthodox Christians, who rejoice today.

For believers who acknowledge the holiest of Christian holidays, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of everlasting life after death, there's an interesting reason for Easter being worshiped on different dates. The two Easters are calculated differently.

The formula for choosing the date for the Orthodox Easter is steeped in tradition and history. The early church, when all Christians belonged to one body, commemorated Easter "on the first Sunday after the first full moon, following the vernal equinox, but always after Passover."

The Orthodox Church uses the original computation that used the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian calendar. The difference is the Julian calendar was officially implemented by Julius Caesar and was in use primarily between 45 B.C. and 1582 A.D. It was the calendar that was used when the earliest formula was determined.

Much of the world now uses the Gregorian calendar, which replaced the Julian, and so the custom changed for the Western Christian churches when the one calendar converted to the other. This is one reason why Easter may fall on a different date.

But whether it's a month apart or celebrated concurrently, Easter isn't just one day for Christians – it is its own season, because the next 50 days glorify Jesus' victory over Satan and death. It's part of a beautiful story that started under a very bright star in a stable in Bethlehem.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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