The date of Easter Sunday changes annually. It is determined by the lunar calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon. Easter Sunday is always scheduled to fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox falling around March 20th, which is the juncture where the sun crosses the celestial equator (in the atmosphere above the Earth’s equator), moving from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. Therefore, Easter Sunday will always fall between March 22nd and April 25th. However, April Fools Day always falls on April 1st. If you do not celebrate Easter, you can always have some April Fools fun.
Although the origins of April Fools Day is shrouded in mystery, the tradition is still going strong to play pranks on family, friends, and coworkers. These pranks are generally all in good natured fun. Sometimes it is not as funny as first imagined by the prankster, but the intention is to make people laugh. Often people develop elaborate schemes to pull off pranks, all the while hoping it does not backfire with the joke being on themselves. Even though it is not a national holiday and the greeting card industry does not have a greeting card line to mark the day, it’s still a widely popular day.
In New Orleans, being a largely Catholic community, the long Easter weekend, from Holy Thursday through Easter Monday, is a solemn sacred celebration.
Then there’s the secular celebration, which is marked by three parades in the French Quarter. The first parade to kick off the revelry is the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade. They commence parading from Antoine’s at 9:45am, wind their way through the French Quarter, and end their route at the St. Louis Cathedral for 11am mass. After an award ceremony following mass, the revelers return to Antoine’s. The Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade kicks off at 1pm at the corner of Bourbon and Canal Street, and traverses the French Quarter. Later in the afternoon is the Gay Easter Parade, where the LGBT community showcases their Easter finery in a family-friendly exhibition.
Hop on over to the French Quarter and join the fun!
Author: Sallie F. Arnoult