Why do we have April Fools?


April 1st is known as All Fools Day! The genesis of our current understanding of April Fool’s Day grew out of the 1582 change in the calendar named after Pope Gregory. However, the calendar was inspired by Nicholaus Copernicus because the Catholic Church wanted a calendar that would allow them to easily plan their holy days (especially Easter), collect taxes, and they wanted a calendar that would be accurate for thousands of years.

Copernicus was an astronomer and mathematician who figured out the Sun did not go around the Earth but in fact the Earth went around the Sun. At first the Catholic church was supportive of this view. However, in 1610 the Church made a formal charge of this view as heresy. Copernicus was long dead, having died on May 24, 1543.

Prior to taking this position astronomers and mathematicians in the time just prior to 1582 calculated what became known as the Gregorian Calendar inspired by the work of Copernicus. The church was happy to get a new calendar that drifts only one day in about 3300 years.

Starting in 1582 the implementation of the Gregorian Calendar created a lot of chaos partly because it shifted New Year’s Day from the Spring Season to an arbitrary date of January 1. News traveled slowly in those days and for various reasons many continued to celebrate New Year’s around the time of the Equinox with the celebrations ending on April 1.

April Fools
Those who celebrated New Year’s in spring became known as April Fools pressuring and shaming them into conforming to a calendar that had the effect of focusing awareness on linear thinking, materialism and commerce disconnecting the masses from the more magical experience of time they had been use to engaging. The linear calendar effect has been most successful in disconnecting us from the natural cycles of the Earth and Sky. So much so – many to this day do not know that Easter is determined by the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox.

One of the primary missions of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School is to help us not only remember this connection but also to re-engage the magical connection between the Earth and Sky while also recovering a deeper connection to the natural cycles in ways that enhance our intuitive knowing and conscious connection to Great Mystery.

It is immensely gratifying to see that many are awakening now to the importance of not only knowing about these cycles but also actively engaging them, because it is also true that we inform the mysteries as much as they inform us. It is a living relationship that we can reclaim and live once again.

The name April comes from the latin word aperit, meaning to open. April occurs right after the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and is part of the growing season when trees and flowers begin to “open”.

It is also thought that April is named after the Greek goddess, Aphrodite (Aphros).

Month Latin Name Origin
January Januarius Named after the god Janus
February Februarius Named after Februa, the purification festival
March Martius Named after the god Mars
April Aprilis Named either after the goddess Aphrodite or the Latin word aperire, to open
May Maius Probably named after the goddess Maia
June Junius Probably named after the goddess Juno
July Julius Named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.E. Prior to that time its name was Quintilis from the word quintus, fifth, because it was the 5th month in the old Roman calendar
August Augustus Named after emperor Augustus in 8 B.C.E. Prior to that time the name was Sextilis from the word sextus, sixth, because it was the 6th month in the old Roman calendar
September September From the word septem, seven, because it was the 7th month in the old Roman calendar
October October From the word octo, eight, because it was the 8th month in the old Roman calendar
November November From the word novem, nine, because it was the 9th month in the old Roman calendar
December December From the word decem, ten, because it was the 10th month in the old Roman calendar

Other Resources
http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/cal_art.html

http://info-poland.buffalo.edu/classroom/kopernik/copernicus.shtml

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/gregorian1.html

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered the advancement of the calendar by 10 days and introduced a new corrective device to curb further error: century years such as 1700 or 1800 would no longer be counted as leap years, unless they were (like 1600 or 2000) divisible by 400.

If somewhat inelegant, this system is undeniably effective, and is still in official use in the United States. The Gregorian calendar year differs from the solar year by only 26 seconds—accurate enough for most mortals, since this only adds up to one day’s difference every 3,323 years.

Despite the prudence of Pope Gregory’s correction, many Protestant countries, including England, ignored the papal bull. Germany and the Netherlands agreed to adopt the Gregorian calendar in 1698; Russia only accepted it after the revolution of 1918, and Greece waited until 1923 to follow suit. And currently many Orthodox churches still follow the Julian calendar, which now lags 13 days behind the Gregorian.

Easter Sunday on April 01 or April Fool’s Day only occurs twice in 30 years next one isn’t until 2029. March Easter Dates average 2 per decade.

Easter Sunday from 2020 to 2049

April 12 2020   April 21 2030   April 01 2040
April 04 2021 April 13 2031 April 21 2041
April 17 2022 March 28 2032 April 06 2042
April 09 2023 April 17 2033 March 29 2043
March 31 2024 April 09 2034 April 17 2044
April 25 2025 March 25 2035 April 09 2045
April 05 2026 April 13 2036 March 25 2046
March 28 2027 April 05 2037 April 14 2047
April 16 2028 April 25 2038 April 05 2048
April 01 2029 April 10 2039 April 18 2049

 

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