In principle, Easter falls on the Sunday following the full moon that follows the northern spring equinox (the paschal full moon).
While Easter now falls at the earliest on the 15th of the lunar month and at the latest on the 21st, in some areas it used to fall at the earliest on the fourteenth (the day of the paschal full moon) and at the latest on the twentieth, or between the sixteenth and the 22nd.
The last limit arises from the fact that the crucifixion was considered to have happened on the fourteenth (the eve of the Passover) and the resurrection therefore on the sixteenth.
The "computus" is the procedure of determining the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon falling on or after 21 March, and the difficulty arose from doing this over the span of centuries without accurate means of measuring the precise tropical year.
The synodic month had already been measured to a high degree of accuracy.
The schematic model that eventually was accepted is the Metonic cycle which equates 19 (tropical) years to 235 synodic months.
In 1583, the Catholic Church began using 21 March under the Gregorian calendar to calculate the date of Easter, while the Eastern Churches have continued to use 21 March under the Julian calendar.The Catholic and Protestant denominations thus use an ecclesiastical full moon that occurs four, five or 34 days earlier than the eastern one.Computus (Latin for "computation") is the calculation used to determine the calendar date of Easter.Because the date is based on a calendar-dependent equinox rather than the astronomical one, there are differences between calculations done according to the Julian calendar and the modern Gregorian calendar.The name has been used for this procedure since the early Middle Ages, as it was considered the most important computation of the age.For most of its history Christians have calculated Easter independently of the Jewish calendar.