When is Easter 2024 and when are the school holidays?

Easter is the most important date in the Christian calendar, and it’s also a major secular holiday, too.

For Christians, Easter is the day of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It also marks a four-day bank holiday weekend, giving the opportunity to get away, plan a fun family day out, and eat your body weight in chocolate eggs and bunnies.

Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday are the main bank holidays, and they’re normally sandwiched between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

As a result of these holidays, many people are now wondering when Easter 2024 will fall.

As the week of egg painting, picnics, and gatherings approaches, here is a look at everything you need to know about Easter 2024.

When is Easter 2024?

Easter Sunday falls on March 31, 2024 this year, just over a week earlier than in 2023, when it was on April 9.

This year Easter is set to arrive midway through the school holidays.

As a result, Good Friday will be on Friday, March 29, marking a national bank holiday in the UK.

Easter Monday is set to be on Monday, April 1, which will complete a four-day weekend for those in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, Easter isn’t a nationwide bank holiday, although various councils do claim it as one.

When are the school holidays?

For most schools, the Easter holidays in 2024 will be from Friday, March 29 to Friday, April 12 (Easter weekend is on March 29 - April 1). However, some areas are different.

Why does Easter change every year?

Each year, Easter is moveable — unlike Christmas, for example.

Easter’s date depends on the lunar cycle, as well as the timing of the Jewish festival of Passover, which is rooted in the Biblical account of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.

The Last Supper, which took place the night before Jesus was crucified, was on Passover.

The following day, Jesus was crucified, and buried the day after that. He then rose again on the third day, which is when Easter Sunday now falls.

As a result, Easter is connected to Passover, which is in turn connected to the first full moon after the spring equinox — being held on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Is Easter related to Lent?

Yes, Lent is ongoing and leads up to Easter. Starting in February, Lent is a period of abstaining from food and luxuries in the run-up to Easter.

Millions of Christians worldwide will begin a 40-day fast, which sees them cut out treats such as biscuits, crisps, and chocolate until Holy Thursday.

Always held after Shrove Tuesday, Lent marks a time for Christians to prepare for Easter through penance, prayer, and repentance of their sins.

What treats are eaten at Easter?

From hot-cross buns to Easter eggs and even luxury sweet treats for adults — Easter is known as a time of giving and indulging.

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, that’s also fine, as there are a whole host of other presents you can give.

Why do we eat chocolate eggs at Easter?

Christians have long used eggs as a symbol of the resurrection because the egg's empty shell corresponds to Christ's empty tomb.

While the exact date of the invention of the chocolate egg is unknown, we do know that they were being made in Germany and France by the start of the 19th century.

It is thought that JS Fry & Sons in Bristol produced the first chocolate Easter Egg in Great Britain in 1873.

What’s on TV on Easter?

In line with its cultural significance, the BBC would usually host special programming for the Holy Week and Easter, which will include live worship, an interview with the Bishop of Dover, Pope Francis’s Easter blessing, and more.