Why April Fools’?



Today is April 1, 2008.  Some people call the first day of April, “April Fools’ Day”.

Do you know why?

Here are a couple of accounts:

The origins of April Fools’ Day are shrouded in mystery, experts say.

The most popular theory is that France changed its calendar in the 1500s so that the New Year would begin in January to match the Roman calendar instead of the start of spring in late March or early April.

However word of the change traveled slowly, and many people in rural areas continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring. These country dwellers became known as “April fools.”

Boese, who has studied the holiday’s origin, disagrees with that interpretation.

“[The French] theory is completely wrong, because the day that the French celebrated the beginning of the year legally was Easter day, so it never really was associated with April first,” he said… http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080328-april-fools.html“April Fool’s Day. The first mention of this custom is a curt note in Aubrey: Fooles holy day. We observe it on ye first of April. And so it is kept in Germany everywhere.’ ( Aubrey, 1686, 1880: 10). It must have reached England from Germany or France in the mid-17th century, and quickly became very popular under the name All Fools’ Day; 18th-century writers call it ‘universal’.”                                               [English writer John Aubrey ?]                                                  – Oxford University Press 2000  http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O71-AprilFoolsDay.html   

“There are several explanations for the origin of April Fools’ Day, but here is the most plausible one. April 1st was once New Year’s Day in France. In 1582, Pope Gregory declared the adoption of his Gregorian calendar to replace the Julian calendar and New Year’s Day was officially changed to January 1st. It took awhile for everyone in France to hear the news of this major change and others obstinately refused to accept the new calendar, so a lot of people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on the first of April – earning them the name April fools. The April fools were subjected to ridicule and practical jokes and the tradition was born. The butts of these pranks were first called poisson d’avril or April fish because a young naive fish is easily caught. A common practice was to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke. This evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continues on the first day of April.” – Dictionary.com by Lexico Publishing Group  http://dictionary.reference.com/features/aprilfools.html

So there are a few theories about where “April Fools’ Day” originated.

But, basically because the Roman calendar was adopted, some who had accepted the more traditional (and biblical) notion that the year began in the Spring, they were made fun of.

Notice what God teaches in the Bible:

This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you…On this day you are going out, in the month Abib (Exodus 12:2;13:4).

Most of the time the first day of the year that God is referring to comes in April in modern calendars (in other years it is towards the end of March).

This year the first day of Abib is April 6, 2008.

Because people do not realize this, they also tend not to realize when Passover is (Passover is observed the early evening of the 14th day of Abib, which will be April 18, 2008 after sunset).

And historically calling people fools because they did not change the biblical beginning of the year from Spring to January 1st, apparently did not help people realize when the BIBLE teaches that the year is supposed to begin.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? 
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2012, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂

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