“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April Fool's Day!

There are many theories surrounding the origin of April Fool's day including the Roman winter festival of Saturnalia; the Festus Fatuorum (the Feast of Fools) which evolved out of the Saturnalia; British folklore of the town of Gotham who in order to avoid losing their main road set about making fools of themselves; and according to anthropologists and cultural historians, April Fool's Day traces its roots back to a festival marking the Vernal Equinox or Springtime.

However, the most widespread theory about the origin of April Fool's Day dates back to 1582 when King Charles IX of France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar so the year would begin on January 1st rather than the traditional April 1st.

This decision caused a lot of disagreement and controversy. Although the staunchest and most stubborn continued to celebrate the new year on April 1st, others with more modern views started to perform tricks and pranks to bolster those in the opposing camp. Among the latter were several village curés who did not approve of this manner of manipulating the calendar. Consequently, as around this date the fishing season was closed for spawning, some people made a habit of keeping the last fish they had caught and let it rot. Then, on the sly, they placed it on the doormat of the presbytery.

Others believed that the days surrounding the first of April marked the end of Lent when it was customary to give sweets to those they liked, while to the others they gave a fish! Children got wrapped up in the game and made imitation fish which they gave to their friends and relatives as jokes.

Some like to think of April 1st as an important holiday for breaking up the monotony of a long winter and its accompanying depression. It’s a day for jokes and pranks with laughter guaranteed. In this context, television and other local media broadcast several hoaxes - France sold the islands of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon to Canada in exchange for the province of Newfoundland; the Confederation Bridge collapsed; Ontario was handed over to the United States; the St Lawrence River would soon run dry, and so on.

I personally like to believe the legend that says a girl born on April 1st will become a quiet and peaceful woman. Her calmness and silence, following the example of a fish, will be widely acknowledged and appreciated, because unlike other women, she will know how to keep a secret . . .

(Adapted from an article by Myriam Fontaine)

1 comment:

rox said...

Terza my wedding anniversary is Apr.st and also 3 yrs ago apr. 1st marks the death of my ex ! yikes what a day .
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