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Easter was the Sunday after the 15th day of this moon, whose 14th day was allowed to precede the equinox.

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In addition to the change in the mean length of the calendar year from 365.25 days (365 days 6 hours) to 365.2425 days (365 days 5 hours 49 minutes 12 seconds), a reduction of 10 minutes 48 seconds per year, the Gregorian calendar reform also dealt with the accumulated difference between these lengths.

The canonical Easter tables were devised at the end of the third century, when the vernal equinox fell either on 20 March or 21 March depending on the year's position in the leap year cycle.

In Rome, Easter was not allowed to fall later than 21 April, that being the day of the Parilia or birthday of Rome and a pagan festival.

The first day of the Easter moon could fall no earlier than 5 March and no later than 2 April.

The motivation for the adjustment was to bring the date for the celebration of Easter to the time of year in which it was celebrated when it was introduced by the early Church.

The error in the Julian calendar (its assumption that there are exactly 365.25 days in a year) had led to the date of the equinox according to the calendar drifting from the observed reality, and thus an error had been introduced into the calculation of the date of Easter.

Transition to the Gregorian calendar would restore the holiday to the time of the year in which it was celebrated when introduced by the early Church.

The reform was adopted initially by the Catholic countries of Europe.

Many (but not all) countries that have traditionally used the Julian calendar, or the Islamic or other religious calendars, have come to adopt the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes.

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