Subject: Re: Origins of April Fools' Day? Date: 11 Apr 1993 15:25:57 GMT cba@hpuerca.atl.h

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From: twcaps@tennyson.lbl.gov (Terry Chan) Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban Subject: Re: Origins of April Fools' Day? Date: 11 Apr 1993 15:25:57 GMT cba@hpuerca.atl.hp.com (Brian Abernathy) writes: +> +>The way I heard it: Originally, New Year's Day was April 1. Later, when +>the Church changed the calendar, they also changed the date for the first +>of the year. However, some people continued using April 1 as the date of +>the new year. These people were refered to as "April Fools" +> +>At least, that is what I heard. Your mileage may vary. datepper@phoenix.Princeton.EDU (David Aaron Tepper) writes: + +That doesn't explain April Fool's Day in other countries--for example, +"poisson d'avril" in France. (April Fish for those who don't know +Frogspeak.) Dang! And just when this thread was petering out too. By some stroke of luck Harvey was remarkably close with his story of the origins of April Fool's Day. Panati's _Every Origins..._ book supports the change in the calender origin as well. His point being that the change in the Gregorian calender by King Charles IX in France. As pointed out to some degree by others, France once celebrated New Year's beginning on March 25. This festival ran for a week with the exchange of gifts, and ended with parties on April 1. IN 1564, KIng Charles IX decreed that with the adoption of the Gregorian calender, New Year's be moved to January 1. Those who refused or forgot were ridiculed by being sent foolish gifts and invitations to non- existent parties. The butt of such a prank was known as a "poisson d'avril." Panati further notes that Napoleon I also acquired "poisson d'avril" when he married Marie-Louise of Austria on 1 April 1810. Over a period of nearly two hundred years, the practice of playing such jokes spread from France to England to the US. By coincidence, those with access to the Clarinet hierarchy may have noted that they carried an article concerning the history of this holiday on, uh, April 1. In it, they cited the research of Steven Fanning, a professor in the history department of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In it, he was cited as saying that the playing of pranks of people who didn't keep up with the change in the calender pretty much happened in most of Europe. He says that the origins behind the French term is unknown (though they were the first nation to adopt the Gregorian calender). One other cute point in that article was that April Fool's Day in Scotland is called "April Gawk" and the butt of a prank on that day is called a "gawk." Any comments from the Scottish gallery? Terry "But can you believe any article published on 1 April?" Chan From: twcaps@tennyson.lbl.gov (Terry Chan) Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban Subject: Re: Origins of April Fools' Day? Date: 13 Apr 1993 05:44:01 GMT Part of what I wrote: +> .... +> > IN 1564, KIng Charles IX decreed that with the adoption of the Gregorian +> > calender, New Year's be moved to January 1. And part of what bobm@Ingres.COM (Bob McQueer) wrote: + +BTW, I think Terry's date is wrong, or possibly part of his statement. +Charles IX could not have decreed adoption of the Gregorian calendar in +1564. Gregory didn't change it until 1582, although the Council of Trent +authorized a calendar reform in 1545. King Chuck could have moved the +beginning of the year, of course. Bob is correct about the date. I used Panati's year of 1564, which, upon further investigation, is not correct. The 1992 _Information Please Almanac_ gives dates on the development of the Gregorian calender which coincide with the years mentioned by Bob. Heck, an obvious check would have revealed that Gregory XIII didn't even begin his reign until 1572, rendering Panati's date impossible. Given the reseach of the professor noted in the Clarinet article which basically agrees with Panati's story of the origins of April Fool's Day on the changing of the calender to 1582, I'd expect that this is the proper date. One final clarification, Napoleon I acquired the *nickname* of "April Fish" in French when he married on 1 April. I lost the term "nickname" in the original article. Terry "Sorry 'bout that folks" Chan

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