GALLIPOLIS — Easter caught many by surprise this year, with its March date and the continuing cold temperatures.
Spring flowers also began blooming a bit early, as if they were aware of Easter’s approach. Warm days before freezing temperatures returned provided an opportunity for many to bloom, only to be nipped by frost.
The date for the Easter holiday fluctuates, as it falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. If the first full moon occurs on the equinox, Easter is the following Sunday. Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25, with the most common date being April 19.
This year, the equinox was officially March 19, according to the Farmers Almanac, although March 21 is the date commonly referred to as the equinox — or first day of spring.
This complicated method for determining Easter was challenged in 1928 with the Easter Act passed by the federal government in an attempt to fix the date of the holiday on the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April. This mostly forgotten law was never enforced, and Easter is still set by the original formula.
The Thursday before Easter, known as Maundy Thursday in the Christian church, is a commemoration of the Last Supper. Maundy comes from the Latin word “mandatum,” or washing of the feet, a religious rite observed by several Christian denominations and patterned after Jesus’ performance of this act at the Last Supper.
Gallipolis Parks and Recreation and the Gallipolis Junior Women’s Club will be sponsoring the annual “Easter Egg Hunt in the Park” on Saturday in Gallipolis City Park. Games will be available on First Avenue near City Park. They will be starting around 10 a.m. and the egg hunt will begin at 11 a.m. A bake sale will also be conducted in the same area.
Children will be separated into age groups. 0-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12 will represent age brackets. For more information, individuals are encouraged to call (740) 441-6022.
Elizabeth Chapel Church in Gallipolis will have a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt Saturday around 2 p.m. Science fiction characters of the laser-sword wielding variety are anticipated to make appearances. Guests are asked to bring unopened toys to donate to sick children.
An Easter egg hunt will also be held near the bell tower on the University of Rio Grande campus around 11 a.m. Saturday and sponsored by area churches.
Organizations are encouraged to post on the Tribune’s Facebook page with their upcoming Easter weekend events.
Lorna Hart contributed to this story. Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.