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easter_days — Gets the number of days after the vernal equinox on which Easter falls in the specified year.


int easter_days([year]);
int year (optional): Year for which to calculate Easter days


Number of days


easter_days() calculates the number of days after the vernal equinox (March 21) on which Easter falls. If no year argument is provided, the current year is assumed.

Note easter_days() calculates this date as reckoned by the Vatican.


Wondering why the vernal equinox has anything to do with the celebration of Easter? Do a search on the web for the terms Easter and Nicae.


PHP Version: 3.0.9+, 4+

See also

To find the UNIX-style timestamp of Easter midnight for the given year:



Example 68. Find out when Easter falls for all years from 2038 to 2100

<table cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
$format = '<tr bgcolor="%s"><td>%s</td><td align="right">%2s</td><td>%d</td></tr>';

for ($year = 2038; $year <= 2100; ++$year) {
    $easter_days = easter_days ($year);
    $bgcolor = ($year % 2) ? '#FFFFFF' : '#EFEFEF';

    if ($easter_days < 11)
        printf ($format, $bgcolor, 'March', ($easter_days + 21), $year);
        printf ($format, $bgcolor, 'April', ($easter_days - 10), $year);

PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.

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