The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day

 Good Evening,

Happy April 1st.  A day traditionally known as April Fool's Day and also All Fool's Day.  No one seems to know who or why this day was called April Fool's Day, but evidence of this day goes back several hundreds of years.

The first known reference was found in Geoffrey Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' published in 1392.  Some feel that because at one time,  before the 16th century New Year's Day was changed from March 25th to January 1st that this explains this holiday. You see in the Middle Ages March 25th was celebrated as New Year's Day and many times a week long celebration would ensue ending on April 1st.

It is thought that when New Year's Day was changed to January 1st, that those who still celebrated the 'old ways' were considered fools. As a witch I see a correlation between this story and the terms pagan and heathen.  These were derogatory terms used to describe the people who lived in the countryside around the cities when the new religion of Christianity pushed aside the old ways.  The ways of those who followed the Goddess and the earth based spiritual systems that were the traditional beliefs for hundreds if not thousands of years.  After the 'modern' peoples of Rome and other cosmopolitan cities adopted Christianity, soon the pagan ways were considered old fashioned, out of vogue and not cool.

The change of the accepted calendar with  the movement of important yearly dates such as New Year's Day, which originally occurred at the spring equinox, happened in the 16th century.   In the 13th and 14th centuries when the first of the year was held on March 25th,  it's interesting to note that at that time the equinoxes and solstices occurred on the 24th or 25th of their respective months, unlike today when they occur primarily on the 20 - 21st of their months.  The earth in relation to the sun and its rotation  has shifted just slightly over the centuries causing these natural demarcations of the year to move a couple of days to where we find them today.  Which meant New Year's Day was held at the spring equinox and that was considered at the time as the start of their new year, which makes a lot of sense to me.

The early Christian church in its attempt to force things to fit its new dogma, made many change to the calendar and the holidays that surrounded the wheel of the year the common man followed.  We can only look at April Fool's Day as a day that has more hidden in its history than is exposed, and perhaps we will never know the truth of why this day was formed.  But I will hazard a guess as to why its still celebrated, and incidentially its celebrated all over the world.  Because humans have a sense of humor and we are the only animal that exhibits one.

We enjoy a joke, and truthfully, we pull jokes on others because we enjoy making others laugh as well as ourselves.   Some favorite quotes of mine that I think of writing this discussion is one by Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain ) "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand."

and one by William Hazlitt "Man is the only animals that laughs and weeps, for  he is the only animal that is struck with the difference of what things are, and what they ought to be."

Some countries perform tricks on this day until noontime, and none afterwards. If one pulls a trick on someone after noon they are referred to as the fool.  Other countries celebrate by tricking others for the entire day.  But everyone celebrates the fun and laughter of a harmless joke and many feel left out if a joke is not played on them, where others prefer not to be the butt of a joke. Ah, to each his own.

Mother nature had a bit of a joke on us, with the snow she sprinkled over New England last night, but happily the storm which continues as I write this has become all rain and as a result  "April Showers bring May Flowers" and the wheel of the year continues to turn.

Peace and Happiness


© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.

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