Friday Cephalopod: It’s Octo-Easter!

It’s always silly how the Christian Easter holiday is so arbitrary and seemingly random, and engaged so many people in pointless mathematical calendrical exercises to figure out what day it falls on each year. Right now, I have no clue when it will be Easter this year, and you don’t need to tell me, because I don’t care and I don’t celebrate it.

So in the same spirit of random decisions, but with at least a little more simple predictability, I hereby declare that the first Sunday after Darwin’s birthday is Octo-Easter. Here are some Octo-Easter eggs for you all.

I suppose we could claim we’re celebrating the fecundity of the sea, or just the deep dark cold depths, or whatever. Don’t care. You can also celebrate it or don’t. That’s the nice thing about these freethought holidays, you’re free to think whatever you want about them.


  1. PaulBC says

    I’ve figured it out. We’re all octopi imprisoned in nutrient tanks, being fed a virtual reality in which we exist as ridiculous 4-limbed creatures with a mineralized skeleton. This picture shows it very clearly.

  2. bcw bcw says

    Hell, I have the same problem figuring out when the superbowl is going to be.
    By comparison Easter is easy, I mean what’s not to like about the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox.

    Also the best explanation of Easter is of course this ancient joke:
    On Easter morning, a Sunday School teacher asked . “Can any of you children tell me what Easter is?”
    A little boy shot his hand into the air. “Oh, oh, Teacher, call on me, I know!”
    “Please, go ahead.”
    “Easter is that holiday when we get together with our families, eat turkey, and everyone is thankful!”
    err no…
    Another child enthusiastically replied, … something wrong etc etc .. blah blah blah.
    Just then, a little girl stood up and began speaking: “Easter is a Christian holiday when we remember how Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins and then he rose again…”
    “And if Jesus comes out and sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter!”

    Makes sense to me.

  3. laurian says

    The date Christians celebrate Easter is neither arbitrary or random. It’s based on lunar cycles, something I suspect those adorable Cephalopods use as well

  4. Erp says

    Theoretically based on the solar lunar cycle. First Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. However very early on they went with a calculated spring equinox and a calculated full moon and their results didn’t always match up to the astronomical spring equinox and the astronomical full moon. Then one major branch changed how it did the calculations (still not always accurate). Hence we have a Julian calendar Easter and a Gregorian calendar Easter and they usually don’t match up (2025 is the next time).

    Everyone enjoy today, 23 Pluviôse

  5. wzrd1 says

    Ah, here it is. This year, Easter falls on a day that ends in y in English.
    Hope that helped.

    I think I’ll declare kiloeaster, we’ll call it keister for short. Special foods on the observation day include chocolate bunny eggs, although finding a laying chocolate bunny is a bit difficult lately.

  6. chrislawson says

    A very Catholic friend of mine was objecting to my observation that Easter was inherited from old pagan traditions. The name comes from Eastre/Eostre/Ostara, the ancient Germanic/Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility, there’s the association with fertility symbols like rabbits and eggs, and it coincides with the first full moon of spring.

    “No,” she said, “it has a complex calculation to work out the correct date based on the vernal equinox.”

    “And that complex calculation results in the weekend after the first full moon of spring.”

    “Oh, right.”

    It had never occurred to her why this complex calculation was needed at all. Christmas, All Hallow’s Eve, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Transfiguration, the Assumption of Mary, the Solemnity of Mary all take place on the same calendar day (although that day sometimes varies by denomination). Only Easter and Easter-dependent holy days have movable dates.

  7. Erp says

    @chrislawson Easter the holiday is inherited from Jewish tradition not pagan; note Easter the name is specific to English and German, other languages generally use variants of paschalis or pascha (passover). Easter the name may be derived from a pagan goddess (she is only attested to exist by Bede) or may have been an old Germanic name for the time of year Easter is usually celebrated (the word is likely a cognate of ‘east’).
    The date of Easter was chosen to be close to the Jewish Passover (first day, 15 Nisan) given that is when Jesus was said to have died (15 Nisan according to three of the gospels and 14 Nisan according to John with the alleged resurrection occurring two days later [Jewish days start at sunset]) but not identical. 15 Nisan is always a full moon or very close to it.
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