Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

No that isn't an April Fool's Joke -- though I enjoy those immensely.

Apparently, April 1st used to be the end of New Year's week. That changed in 1582 with the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar. New Year was changed to January 1. According to one theory, many people either didn't hear of the change in date or refused to accept it. Others made fun of them and played tricks on them and that's how April Fool's Day got started. (Learn more about that here.)

I only learned today that April 1 used to be New Year's Day. It makes more sense than January 1st, especially in an agrarian culture such as would still have been the norm in 1582. April is neat the start if Spring, when things begin. Januaty 1 is after the start of winter, in the deadest part of the year. The best I can find out is that January 1 was chosen by the Church because leaders didn't like the new year celebration coinciding with pagan observances of the Spring Equinox. But the beginning of the liturgical year is the first day of Advent, wouldn't that have made more sense as New Year? Well, of course then it wouldn't be on the same day every year.

Ah, well, all this historical musing probably won't get me anywhere. I just find it interesting. I always thought January 1 was a strange time to place New Year.

Anyway, I hope you have all enjoyed April Fool's Day. What was your favorite prank this year?

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