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In Christianity, a moveable feast or movable feast is an observance in a liturgical calendar that occurs on different dates in different years. The most important set of moveable feasts are a fixed number of days before or after Easter Sunday, which varies by over 40 days. In Eastern Christianity, these moveable feasts form what is called the Paschal cycle.
Most other feast days, such as those of particular saints, are fixed feasts, held on the same date every year. However, some observances are always held on the same day of the week, and thus occur on a range of days without depending on the date of Easter. For example, the start of Advent is the Sunday nearest November 30. In addition, the observance of some fixed feasts may move a few days in a particular year to not clash with that year's date for a more important moveable feast.
Moveable feasts in Christianity
- Triodion – the period of 70 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
- Septuagesima – 63 days (ninth Sunday) before Easter (Pre–Vatican II Calendar)
- Saturday of Souls – 57 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
- Sexagesima – 56 days (eighth Sunday) before Easter (Pre–Vatican II Calendar)
- Quinquagesima Sunday – 49 days (seventh Sunday) before Easter (Pre–Vatican II Calendar)
- Shrove Monday – 48 days before Easter. (Western Christianity)
- Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras – 47 days before Easter. (Western Christianity; not technically a moveable feast, because it is not a holiday on any church calendar)
- Ash Wednesday – 46 days before Easter. (Western Christianity; strictly speaking, not a feast but a fast, characterised by solemnity and acts of self-denial)
- Triumph of Orthodoxy – 42 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
- People's Sunday – 41 days before Easter (in Malta)
- Mothering Sunday – 21 days before Easter (Anglicanism)
- Passion Sunday – 14 days before Easter (Anglicanism)
- Lazarus Saturday – 8 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
- Palm Sunday – 7 days before Easter
- Maundy Thursday – 3 days before Easter
- Good Friday – 2 days before Easter (Good Friday is actually a fast rather than a feast. See Ash Wednesday above.)
- Holy Saturday - 1 day before Easter
- Easter – the date around which the others are placed
- Saint Gregory's Day – 3 days after Easter (in Malta)
- The Octave of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, also known as Low Sunday or Quasimodo Sunday – the Sunday after Easter.
- Radonitsa – 8 or 9 days after Easter (Eastern Orthodox)
- Ascension Day – 39 days after Easter
- Pentecost – 49 days after Easter (50th day of Easter)
- Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday – the day after Pentecost
- Whit Tuesday - the next day
- Trinity Sunday – 56 days after Easter (Western Christianity)
- All Saints' Day – 56 days after Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic), but in the West this feast is fixed on November 1
- Corpus Christi – 60 days after Easter (Western Christianity)
- A table of moveable feasts with dates, published by the Church of England.
- "Why Some Feasts Are Moveable", a Slate article
- "How the dates of moveable feasts are calculated, then and now", translated from the Latin by Michael Deckers.