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Distribution of the Easter dates in the years 2000 to 2999 (solid curve) and 3000 to 3999 (dashed curve).

22 28 March

April

Distribution of the Easter dates in the years 2000 to 2999 (solid curve) and 3000 to 3999 (dashed curve).

22 28 March

April

Other unexpected facts appear from Table 59.B. For instance, considered over a period of 6000 years, Easter Sunday occurs somewhat more frequently on April 1 than on April 2, on April 5 than on April 4, on April 8 than on April 9, and on April 12 than on April 11. And calculation shows that this holds for successive 6000-year periods, for instance for the years 8000 to 13999, 14000 to 19999, and so on.

I don't know who was the first to discover that peak on April 19. When I found it in 1972, I published the above-mentioned details in a Dutch journal [1]. Some years later, Prof. Manfred Oswalden, of Klosterneuburg, Austria, provided additional data and explanations [2]. In the Gregorian calendar a period of 5700000 years is required for the cyclical recurrence of the Easter dates. Of course, in practice this very long period is meaningless, because anyway the correspondence of our present calendar with the motions of Sun and Moon can last for a few thousand years only. Long before those 5.7 million years, an adjustment of the calendar will be needed. Therefore, the period of 5700000 years is of theoretical interest only.

In the second column of Table 59.C, due to Oswalden, the distribution of the epacts in a period of 210 years is given. The epact of a year is the age of the 'ecclesiastical' Moon at the beginning of that year.

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