Have you ever received an email saying “Happy Holidays” even though you will not actually be celebrating anything? People love to share their happiness with others and sometimes they do not remember that the recipient might not be in the same situation. This is very common in multinational societies, like in Canada, where there are so many different nationalities living and working together.
Lots of companies update their websites when a big celebration approaches to make the site more appealing to visitors. For Christmas and Easter, there are images of Santa Claus and Easter bunnies everywhere… and in their enthusiasm, some forget that not all cultures celebrate these events or that some events are celebrated at different times for certain cultures. Some companies even update their foreign language websites…
It is nice to get an email wishing you all the best for Easter even if you do not celebrate it, but it is very strange to go to a website in your native language and see Easter bunnies everywhere if you do not celebrate Easter.
Easter is a Christian celebration, but not all Christians celebrate Easter at the same time. This year, the Catholic Easter was in March and the Orthodox Easter will be at the end of April. Why this difference? Because of the different calendars used by the churches to calculate the Easter dates.
Orthodox Churches use the Julian calendar named after Julius Caesar. This is usually referred to as the “Old Style” calendar and it was the official calendar from 45 B.C. to 1582 A.D, when it was replaced with the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the official calendar used around the world today.
The Julian calendar was accurate, but it was still not as precise as the Gregorian one. A year was considered to have 365 days and 6 hours instead of 365 days, 5 hours and 46 seconds. This difference may seem insignificant, but because of this difference, one day is lost every 128 years. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII of the Roman Catholic Church revised the Julian calendar, and so the Easter dates were changed. In time, the Gregorian calendar was adopted all over the world.
Countries with a large Orthodox population are mostly located in Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, etc.
Everyday around the world, someone is celebrating something. Here are only a few of these holidays and their dates in 2008: