To help plan your Easter, this page is a useful tool for the period up to 2026 to know when the Greek Orthodox Church(Eastern Church) Easter coincides with the Easter dates of the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Free Churches (Western Churches). Often they don't. How did the inconsistency in annual Easter dates happen? It is a long and complex story. In brief, the date for Easter Sunday for the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches is based on the Gregorian calendar which is the one used in most of the western world today. The Orthodox Churches retain what used to be the universal calendar known as the Julian Calendar that dominated the world for hundreds of years. The Synod (governing body) of the Greek Orthodox Church tried to streamline the Julian calendar in 1923 but to this day there is disagreement within the church hierarchy over its usage, as an unnecessary modernisation to match the Gregorian dates.
In the Orthodox world, Easter is the most important religious observance in the Ecclesiastical calendar. Dates that apply to Crete, Greece and Cyprus also apply to other national Orthodox congregations. Such Orthodox ecclesiastical communities include the predominant national religion in:
The Patron Saint of these churches is St John of Damascus. They basically follow the same beliefs, teachings and dogma as the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece and Cyprus operating under the Arch Diocese of Constantinople. They are all equally pious. They take Easter very seriously. Outsiders should show the greatest respect over the long weekend to practitioners of the Orthodox religion especially on Good Friday and before the evening church services on Easter Saturday.
There are significant numbers of faithful followers of the Orthodox Church in Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Bosnia, Croatia, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia (especially the capital Addis Ababa (80%), Eritrea, Egypt (Coptic), Lebanon, Syria, and less so in Sudan, Kerala State India, Uzbekistan and other countries notably in the West (Canada, USA, Australia etc).
Words related to Easter you will hear across the Greek Orthodox Diaspora:
The table below focusses on Easter Sunday as the chosen day for the date proper. Good Friday will of course be two days before and Easter Monday the next day after the dates shown below.
Easter Dates 2011-2026
Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday
Roman Catholic, Protestant Churches Easter Sunday
|2011||April 24, 2011||April 24, 2011|
|2012||April 15, 2012||April 08, 2012|
|2013||May 5, 2013||March 31, 2013|
|2014||April 20, 2014||April 20, 2014|
|2015||April 12, 2015||April 05, 2015|
|2016||May 01, 2016||March 27, 2016|
|2017||April 16, 2017||April 16, 2017|
|2018||April 08, 2018||April 01, 2018|
|2019||April 28, 2019||April 21, 2019|
|2020||April 19, 2020||April 12, 2020|
|2021||May 02, 2021||April 04, 2021|
|2022||April 24, 2022||April 17, 2022|
|2023||April 16, 2023||April 09, 2023|
|2024||May 05, 2024||March 30, 2024|
|2025||April 20, 2025||April 20, 2025|
|2026||April 05, 2026||April 12, 2026|
|Greece Public Holidays 2016||Greek Cypriot Public Holidays 2016|
Note: Photograph at page top is a view of the front entrance mural of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Aghios Nikolaos, Lassithi, Greece. Copyright: BritsinCrete.Net .
Just a thought - Those Easter weekend dates that do not coincide means that if you are in Crete, Greece, Cyprus and any of the other mentioned countries where Orthodoxy is the main religion, you (as a non-Orthodox adherent) will celebrate two Easter holidays. If you happen to be in Crete, Greece or Cyprus over Orthodox Easter remember to wish friends and any Greek relatives "Chronia Polla" - meaning Best Wishes and "Kalo Pascha" -
Happy Easter on Easter Sunday.
Christos Anesti - Christ is Risen!