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What is the relationship between Passover and Pentecost?

Pentecost is the fiftieth day of Passover; however, if you check your calendar for this year, you will find that the Church is not celebrating Pentecost on the fiftieth day of the Jewish Passover, so what gives?

The confusion comes from the word ‘Easter.’ The holiday we call ‘Easter’ in English is called ‘Passover’ in other languages—and this is fitting, because Easter is the Christian Passover. Bearing this in mind, we find three methods of calculating Passover:

Of the three methods, the western method seems to be the most accurate in reconstructing when Passover would fall if the first-century Jewish calendar were still in use. It compensates for the changes in the Jewish calendar and the inaccuracies in the Julian calendar.

Within each system, Pentecost is the fiftieth day of Passover. That is, the Jewish Pentecost is the fiftieth day of the Jewish Passover, the Orthodox Pentecost is the fiftieth day of the Orthodox Passover, the western Christian Pentecost is the fiftieth day of the western Christian Passover, which we confusingly call ‘Easter’ in English.

You can read more information about the calendars.

I say ‘of’ Passover and not ‘after’ Passover because the counting begins with one rather than zero. That is, if you are counting off the squares on the calendar, and you start by calling Passover (or Easter) as ‘one,’ when you say ‘fifty,’ your finger will be on Pentecost.