Easter is here. We just finished St. Patty's Day earlier this week and here we are. In today's Houston Chronicle, Jeannie Kever explains the early arrival. She quotes James Wooten, astronomer with the Houston Museum of Natural Science, "This state is incredibly rare."
The last time Easter was this early, it was 85 years ago. And, it won't happen again for another 152 years. So enjoy it while you can.
This year Passover won't begin for almost another month, sundown April 19. Usually Passover is near Easter. And, Eastern Orthodox Easter is April 27 this year. A professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas here in Houston dubs it "an astronomical accident" that the three movable feasts are so far apart.
"Christians look upon the Jewish Passover as a foreshadowing of the death and Resurrection of Christ, so they are closely connected. It just happens that this year, they're really far apart."
Looking for the reason? Look to Heaven. "Catholics and Protestants celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox - the day the sun crosses the equator, making day and night of equal length. The vernal equinox mark the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere," wrote Kever.
The vernal equinox fell on Thursday. A full moon occurred Friday and Easter is Sunday.
Fret not. Next year the holiday is on a normal date. Mark you calendar - Easter is April 12, 2009.
Warner Brothers has re-released "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown." That makes me smile. I watched all those Peanuts holiday shows with my son when he was a little guy.
I will never think of the Charlie Brown gang in quite the same way, though. Last Saturday night my guys and I went to a playhouse production of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. It is not a play for the kids. It was good and left the audience a bit choked up but, damn.
The play was originally off-Broadway. The character names are changed a bit. Charlie Brown is C.B., Sally is CB's Sister, Pig Pen is Matt and a compulsive neat freak, Beethoven is based on Schroeder, Tricia York is Peppermint Patty. And so on.
Snoopy has died of rabies and CB is grappling with depression over it and seeking an answer to the question of what happens after we die. Van (Linus) is a pothead so he can't help CB, Sally is a goth and Lucy, known as Van's Sister is institutionalized to deal with being a pyromaniac. She tried to set the Little Red-Haired Girl's hair on fire.
The play deals with the whole gambit of modern teen life. There is drug use, suicide, eating disorders, homosexuality, eating disorders, rebellion and teen violence. Yeah, it's all there. In the final scene, there is a letter read by CB written by CS. Very poignant.
Not for the kiddies though.
For those who celebrate : HAPPY EASTER and may the Easter bunny leave a fine basket of goodies.