When is Easter in 2024? Your guide to the long weekend and why it changes each year

when is easter

It's hard to believe we are already mid-way through March. But we have some even more shocking news to deliver: have you realised Easter is this month?

Yes, Easter is here early this year. Unsure how of how to spend the weekend, or when you will actually be celebrating? We've broken down the Easter weekend in 2024 and the key dates for both Catholic and Orthodox Easter festivities.


When is Catholic Easter in 2024?

This year, Catholic Easter is held on Sunday 31 March – meaning the long weekend begins Friday 29 March, which is the date of Good Friday. Note: Easter Saturday is not a public holiday, however, Easter Monday is.

Easter is a unique public holiday in the sense that it is a moveable feast, and doesn’t have one fixed date. In saying this, Catholic Easter will always be held between the dates of 22 March and 25 April (ANZAC Day). But, Orthodox Easter can be later.


Why does the date of Easter change? How is the date of Easter determined?

As is the case with both denominations, Easter doesn’t follow a predetermined schedule like other public holiday’s including Labour Day, the King’s Birthday or Christmas Day.

This is because Easter is determined by the timing of the equinox and Full Moon. Catholic Easter falls on the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. This is the first Full Moon following the autumn equinox (or vernal equinox for those in the Northern hemisphere). With the autumn equinox on 20 March this year and our next Full Moon on 25 March, this has led to an early Easter in 2024.


When is Orthodox Easter in 2022?

Orthodox Easter is not always held on the same weekend as Catholic Easter. For Orthodox communities, Easter will always fall between 4 April and 8 May. In 2024, Orthodox Easter is actually more than a month later on 5 May.

The reason for this is because Catholics and most Christians follow the Gregorian calendar, while Orthodox denominations follow the Julian calendar – which differs from the Gregorian one by 13 days. The Julian calendar views the equinox to fall on 3 April, and so the date calculation will start here. Additionally, Orthodox Easter must fall after Jewish Passover.


What’s on across Australia this Easter weekend?

If you find yourself in Sydney this Easter weekend, a visit to the Royal Easter Show is a must and in 2024, you may even spot a real life royal upon your visit. The Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne, has been announced as a guest of honour at this year’s event, running at the Sydney Showgrounds.

Of course there are plenty of other things to see and do – check out our guide for what to do in March to see what's on in your state.

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