(ABC4) – For most Christians who live in the Western side of the world, Easter fell on Sunday, April 17 this year. But for Orthodox Christians in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Easter fell a week later on Sunday, April 24.

Why are there two different dates for Easter and do people celebrate them differently?

Both Easter Sundays celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Both believe in Holy week, and Palm Sunday leading up to Easter. However, the dates for these celebrations differ based on which calendar is used.

Orthodox Christians use the Julian Calendar designed by Julius Caesar in 45 BC whereas western Christains use the Gregorian Calendar created by Pope Gregory in 1582.

Orthodox Easter always happens after the Jewish festival of Passover as Christ celebrated Passover before his death. Orthodox Easter can fall anywhere between April 4 and May 8 and Catholic Easter falls anywhere between March 22 and April 25.

While the celebrations of the two Easters are very similar, only the dates differ because of the acceptance of different calendars. This doesn’t just effect Easter but other holidays as well such as Christmas.