GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This past Easter, the full moon set early on Sunday morning. One viewer wanted to know, is there a link between the full moon and Easter?

It turns out Easter is intrinsically linked to the full moon. For starters, Easter is always held the Sunday after the first full moon of Spring.

While Easter is a Christian holiday, its origins can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt!

EARLY CHRISTIANS

Jesus was said to have been crucified during the Jewish holiday of Passover. During Passover, Jewish families would slaughter a spotless lamb for their sins. Symbolically, Christians believe Jesus became the eternal sacrificial lamb cleansing the world of its sins for all eternity.

Passover is always celebrated on the first full moon after the spring equinox. By doing this, it ensures that there can never be a solar eclipse on Easter.

As Easter is linked to Passover, it begs the question, why is Passover celebrated on the first full moon of spring?

THE FIRST PASSOVER

The very first Passover is said to have happened when the Jewish people were liberated from slavery in Egypt through the power of their God. On the night of Passover, an angel of death swept through Egypt killing every first born male in the family. Jews were instructed by God to protect themselves from this heartbreaking plague by slaughtering a pure lamb and painting the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. This blood was a sign to the angel of death to “pass over” that house, and continue claiming lives in un-marked households.

After the angel of death claimed the lives of every first born Egyptian male, Pharaoh finally agreed to let the Jewish people go free, and released them from slavery.

WHY THE FULL MOON?

There is a reason this is all tied to the full moon.

The Ancient Egyptians paid close attention to the stars and astrology. The Egyptians thought themselves the most powerful during the Aries (the sign of the ram), which is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude. Their power peaked during the first full moon of spring.

By defeating the Egyptians during the first full moon of spring, the Jewish slaves were essentially saying, “We didn’t just beat you, we beat you when you were at your strongest.” The Jewish people then continued to celebrate Passover for years to come to remind themselves of the time that God saved them from the Egypt at a time when Egypt was at its most powerful.

Christians essentially turned the sign of the ram into the sign of the lamb, Jesus, who is remembered the first Sunday after the spring full moon for defeating death eternally.

Due to the full-moon rule, Easter can fall on any date between March 22 through April 25.