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Chapter 11. Working with Math Functions > Calculating Easter Dates

Calculating Easter Dates

If you live or work in the United States, you'll rarely have to calculate for business purposes when Easter Sunday falls because there is no statutory holiday associated with Easter. However, if Easter Monday is a statutory holiday where you live (as it is in Canada and Britain), or if you're responsible for businesses in such jurisdictions, it can be handy to calculate when Easter Sunday falls in a given year.

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way of calculating Easter. The official formula is that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon after the spring equinox. Mathematicians have tried for centuries to come up with a formula, and although some have succeeded (most notably, the famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss), the resulting algorithms have been hideously complex.


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