© J R Stockton, ≥ 2012-03-25

The Dates of Moveable Feasts & Fasts.

Links within this site :-

For holidays from work, see Annual Holiday Dates.

The Dates of Feasts & Fasts

This page refers entirely to Christian Church feasts & fasts; largely to those of the Church of England, partly to those of the Roman Catholic Church, with some links for others.

For Easter Sunday algorithms, see the page index above.

Easter-Linked Events

Most Moveable Feasts & Fasts are linked to the Date of Easter Sunday, with a constant offset. A year can only be either Leap or not Leap, and Easter has only 35 possible dates. So 70 Church Calendars will suffice in perpetuity (or until the Calendar is changed from Gregorian).

If the Date of Easter Sunday is expressed, as in common in calculation, as a Day-of-March, then to determine the Day-of-Week of Christmas Day of that year :- To the Day-of-March, add 1, take the remainder on dividing by 7, and subtract it from 7; the result is the required Day-of-Week, on a scale of Mon=1 to Sun=7 (which is ISO numbering).

The following is largely by reference to the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England (Prayer Book). Naturally, the results are only valid for years to which the Gregorian Rules apply.

Shrove Tuesday precedes Ash Wednesday; the latter is the first day of Lent, the forty week-days (Mon..Sat) before Easter Sunday.

The date of Passion Sunday (the fifth Sunday of Lent) is Easter-14; Palm Sunday is Easter-7, Low Sunday is Easter+7.

I have read that, liturgically, Holy Saturday (or "Easter Even", or "the Saturday of Holy Week") immediately precedes Easter Sunday, and Easter Saturday follows it. Maundy Thursday is in Holy Week. Easter Week is the seven days starting with Easter Sunday; Holy week precedes it.

The Prayer Book says that Ascension Day is forty days after Easter.

The Easter Season is the fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, inclusive.

Trinity Sunday follows Pentecost, and is 8 weeks after Easter; there are 22-27 Sundays after Trinity, before Advent Sunday. My copy of the Prayer Book says that, on the Sunday before Advent, the lessons for the 27th Sunday after Trinity are used.

Date-Linked Events

Advent Sunday is defined in the Prayer Book by

Advent-Sunday is always the nearest Sunday to the feast of St. Andrew, whether before or after.

The Feast of St Andrew is on November 30th. It is necessarily the Sunday before December 4th, and so is the Fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. It seems to be the Sunday following the last Thursday of November. Its date repeats whenever the Week repeats (in particular, both the date of Advent Sunday and the Day-of-Week of Christmas repeat if the date of Easter repeats).

Remembrance Sunday is likewise the nearest Sunday to November 11th, and the fixed Easter proposed by the Act of 1928 would be the nearest Sunday to April 12th.

I have read that Harvest Festival is the Sunday of the Full Moon nearest to the Autumn equinox.

Fixed-Date Events

Other significant dates are fixed; for example Candlemas on February 2nd, and Christmas Day.

Displacement of Saints' Days

I understand that the Church of England does not celebrate Saints' Days within Easter-7 to Easter+6 inclusive (or similar), but displaces the celebrations. This most noticeably affects St. George.

In some Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the celebration of the Annunciation is moved from March 25th (or combined) if Easter is too close to that date. Or the celebration is at a fixed displacement from Easter Sunday. See also Wikipedia, Feast day.

A Perpetual Calendar of Moveable Feasts & Fasts

This may be reorganised into a single list independent of denomination and status. It may not (yet?) be complete, particularly in respect of Fasts. It may not be up-to-date.

Enter a year (default current), then press a button :-

Moveable Feasts & Fasts of the Church of England
Feast or FastDay Earliest DateLatest Date
Septuagesima SundayEaster - 63 18 January +21 February +
Sexagesima SundayEaster - 56 25 January +28 February +
Quinquagesima SundayEaster - 49   1 February +  7 March
First Day of Lent
(Ash Wednesday)
Easter - 46   4 February +10 March
Quadragesima SundayEaster - 42   8 February +14 March
Holy WeekES-7 .. ES-1 15..21 March18..24 April
Easter Sunday
22 March25 April
Rogation SundayEaster + 35 26 April30 May
Ascension Day (Thursday)Easter + 39 30 April  3 June
Pentecost (Whit Sunday)Easter + 49 10 May13 June
Trinity SundayEaster + 56 17 May20 June
Advent SundaySt Andrew ± 3 27 November  3 December
Sundays after Epiphany 16
Sundays after Trinity 2722
+   In Leap Years, add a day to a fixed entry before 29 February.
Additionally (mainly R.C. Feasts & Fasts)
Palm SundayEaster - 7 15 March18 April
Good FridayEaster - 2 20 March23 April
Corpus Christi (Thursday)Easter + 60 21 May24 June
Christ the KingAdvent - 7 20 November26 November
For the exact status of each Feast or Fast, check sources from the relevant Church.
Mothering SundayEaster - 21   1 March  4 April
Passion SundayEaster - 14   8 March11 April
Remembrance Sunday Nov 11th ± 3   8 November14 November

Fixed Easter Sunday
(Act of 1928)
Apr 12th ± 3   9 April15 April

Other Dates

To Be Checked
Easter Sunday
March / April
EU Summer TimeXmas
— 27 03 10 17 24Mon2730Sun
— 28 04 11 18 25Sun2831Sat
22 29 05 12 19 —Sat2925Fri
23 30 06 13 20 —Fri3026Thu
24 31 07 14 21 —Thu3127Wed
25 01 08 15 22 —Wed2528Tue
26 02 09 16 23 —Tue2629Mon
27 26 25 24 23 22Sundays after Trinity

If the Date of Easter Sunday for a given year is known, then other dates for the year can be found, except that for dates in January and February it is necessary to know whether it is a Leap Year.

To determine the Day-of-Week of Christmas Day, given the Date of Easter Sunday for that year :- To the Day-of-March, add 1, or to the Day-of-April, add 4; take the remainder on dividing by 7, and subtract it from 7; the result is the required Day-of-Week, on a scale of Mon=1 to Sun=7 (which is ISO numbering). For other dates after February 28th, add a different number. Before March 1st, use the previous Easter.


See also my
The Date of Easter Sunday, The Calculation of Easter Sunday,
Annual Holiday Dates,
Date Miscellany I, Date Miscellany II,
Zeller's Formulae and Papers, The Hebrew Calendar, etc.
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