April Fools Day

I asked the Internet about the origins of April Fools Day and up came a long historical explanation. From the mid 1500s it was written about in northern Europe and believed to have dated back to pre-Christian time and questions about the start of the year. Where do we start our calendar?

In 1564 France reformed their calendar so that the year began January 1. Those who did not agree had tricks played on them, like fish “poisson” stuck to their backs. Poisson d’Avril or April Fish Day became April Fools Day. England has a well-known trick of taking gullible victims to the Tower of London to see lions washed. Hmmm. Stories come from all over Europe and seem to do with dating the start of the year to somewhere between March 25, the Annunciation of Jesus, and Easter, or going with January 1. People who did not follow had tricks played on them.

As I reflect today on how I start my calendar, my historical account of meaningful life, I ponder. Do I go to my physical birth in the “last century” as my daughter is ought to remind me? Do I track to my baptism as an infant that I cannot remember? How about the spiritual awakening I experienced in college as I fell by my bedside distraught with confusion from my philosophy class? But really there was a whole new sense of reality when I married and started to learn what love meant as expressed by the interactions with others, husband, children, friends. Proverbs 1: 7 shares, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” May the fear of the Lord guard me from my own foolish tendencies, wherever I am in my calendar year!

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