Easter 2024 … It’s an Early One for the Riviera Guesthouse

Here at the Riviera Guesthouse, we LOVE Easter.


Good Friday falls on 29th March, and Easter Day follows on Sunday 31st March 2024.

This is also when the clocks go forward ready for British Summer Time on the 31st March.

Yet you may be wondering why Easter’s dates alter each year?

The dates can vary by up to a month!

With it being an early Easter this year, we thought we would look into the reasons behind this moveable feast.

Spring Is Here

Daffodils on the coast

Springtime is here, the cheerful daffodils nod their heads in the March winds, and lambs frolic in the fields.

What’s not to love?

And yet, an early Easter always seems to catch people out.

2024 is one of the earliest Easter dates we can think of, which means Shrove Tuesday (which took place on  13th February) and Mother’s Day (10th March) is also taking place earlier than usual.

After what we could call a tempestuous winter, we are particularly enjoying the change of season.

Book your Easter stay with us today!

Easter Traditions


Easter eggs (preferably of the chocolate variety) are connected with Easter, representing the new season and new life.

Back in the day, regular eggs were dyed different colours and then hidden in gardens for an egg-citing game of hide and seek.

The Easter Bunny is also a popular character connected with Easter.

Yet for many, Easter is also an important religious time of year.

And did you know, Whitby is where it all started!

Whitby’s connection


Well, not quite where it all started, of course!

Whitby’s link can be traced back to the year 664 (1,360 years ago) when the site of where Whitby Abbey now stands was selected as a meeting place for eminent Celtic and Roman Christian Clerics to meet.

At the time, they couldn’t agree as to the date when Easter should be observed.

King Oswy presided over the proceedings.

He listened to both sides of the discussion and the decision was made to follow the Roman version of Easter.

Why Does Easter’s Date Move?

Another key aspect of the decision made in 664 was how the Easter dates would be calculated.

And we have to say it’s not easy!

So here goes.

Easter Day, or Easter Sunday usually takes place on the first Sunday after the first full Moon that occurs on or after the Spring Equinox (usually on or around the 21st or 22nd March).

This means Easter Day will always fall on a Sunday between 22nd March (which is very rare) and 25th April (which is also rare).

This year’s dates in March signal an early Eastertide and with it the start of the holiday season on the Yorkshire Coast.

Why Can’t We Have a Set Date?

Christmas as we know has a set date of 25th December.

In some ways, this is much easier to work with, although there are always those of us doing our shopping on Christmas Eve …

Even with a set date, we still have to think about the DAY on which Christmas Day falls, along with the Bank Holidays … as this year is  Leap Year, Christmas falls midweek this year with 25th December taking place on a Wednesday.

So, while it might be easier to have a fixed date for Easter, this would mean it would vary on which day of the week it would be celebrated.

We quite like the ancient, if complicated, way in which the Easter dates are worked out, all those centuries later.

 Whitby Abbey

Given the importance of Whitby Abbey in the Easter tradition, this stunning monument is well worth a visit at any time of year.

It is particularly poignant at Easter time with its ancient connections to this springtime tradition.

The monastery at the Abbey was founded in 657, so just a few years before the Easter decision was made.

The remains of this original building have gradually been replaced over the centuries, and the jagged ruins we see today (which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula) date from the 13th Century onwards.

The dramatic arches and pillars of the Gothic-inspired Abbey took around two hundred years to construct.

Yorkshire Traditions


Easter is steeped in tradition here in Yorkshire, our favourite county!

Good Friday was in the past referred to as Parsley Planting Day.

Potatoes were often planted on this day too.

An ‘olde worlde’ practice in Yorkshire was to avoid planting anything or turning over soil with anything made of iron: wooden tools were used instead, all those years ago.

Tradition say that anything planted on Good Friday will thrive.

Easter Sunday is still sometimes referred to as Pace Egg Day.

Far more pragmatically, it was once said by a Yorkshireman that Easter Sunday if the first Sunday after the first full moon after you’ve planted your onions.

What’s Going on This Easter

Easter signals the start of the main holiday season in most coastal resorts.

Whitby has an active calendar throughout the year, and Easter can be a busy time too.

There are events at Whitby Abbey taking place until mid-April.

Whitby Pavilion also has a clutch to Easter events to choose from.

Find out more here!

Riviera Guesthouse

We are a family run guesthouse in the heart of Whitby.

Our guesthouse has 15 spacious en-suite bedrooms are renowned for their originality. Each has been uniquely designed to suit individual tastes. And what’s more, they are beautifully furnished with lots of modern comforts so you enjoy a restful and cosy stay.

Book your stay today!