April 1st: how did April Fools Day come about?

April 1st: how did April Fools Day come about?
April 1st: how did April Fools Day come about?
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Article information
  • author, Alexandre Cherman
  • Roll, The Conversation*
  • 1 April 2024, 13:17 -03

    Updated 24 minutes ago

The Flat Earth remains motionless in the center of the Universe, while the Sun, Moon and planets revolve madly around it, sometimes above, sometimes below, waddling around the edge so as not to be noticed by the reptilian illuminati.

LIE! All lie. A clear tribute to “April 1st”, April Fools’ Day.

The Earth is not flat, it is not stationary and of all the stars mentioned, the Moon is the only one that really revolves around us.

Rotating and rotating around the Sun, regardless of the name we give to this movement, the Earth takes 365 days, 5 hours and 48 minutes to complete a cycle.

We call this cycle a “year”. The fact that we don’t have an exact number of days in a year, incommensurability, is always a challenge for calendars.

In our calendar, the Gregorian, this challenge is overcome with the creation of the leap year, whose rule is not simply “an extra day every four years”.

The leap year rule says that all years that are multiples of 4 will be leap years, unless they are also multiples of 100, with the exception of years that are multiples of 400. Complicated? Not so much…

We just need to pay attention to the so-called “secular years”, those ending in 00. If these years are multiples of 400, they will be leap years, like any other year that is a multiple of 4.

If they are not, they will be an exception to the rule and will not be leap years, despite being multiples of 4. This happened with the year 2000, which was a leap year, and perhaps that is why our generation is not aware of the nuances of the rule of years. leap years.

The year 2100 will not be a leap year. Nor 2200 and 2300. The next secular year to have a February 29th will be 2400. So, reader, try to remember where you were on 02/29/00. This is the rarest date on the Gregorian calendar!

A little of history

Back to the turns that the Earth takes around the Sun:

If we want to count the turns, that is, count the years, we need to mark a “starting point”.

As we are talking about a cyclical movement, this starting point can be either a place in space or a date. For most people, who are not in the habit of looking into space, working with a date is infinitely simpler. But what date would we choose to start the year?

Historically speaking, there is a preference for the spring equinox. And as there was a strong global colonization dominated by countries and empires from the Northern Hemisphere, we are, therefore, talking about the March equinox.

The first Roman calendar, created by Romulus when he founded the city, began precisely in the month of Martius, named after the God of War, Mars, supposedly the father of Romulus (and his twin brother, Remus).

Celebrating the beginning of the year on the March equinox is known as “Annunciation Style”, because according to Christian dogma, it was at this time that Mary received the news from the angel Gabriel that she would be the mother of God’s son.

There are those who prefer the “Nativity Style” and celebrate the new year at Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus. Officially, and for a long time now, we have used the “Circumcision Style”, celebrating the New Year seven days after Christmas.

This style was incorporated by the Romans even before Julius Caesar’s reform, but incredibly it only became official for the Church with the reform of Gregory XIII.

Tradition of ‘pranks’

But what does all this have to do with lies and April Fools?

Although the beginning of the civil year was transferred by Julius Caesar, still in Ancient Rome, to January 1st, the beginning of the liturgical year of the Catholic Church remained on March 25th.

In 1564, however, King Charles IX of France decreed that his subjects must respect the beginning of the Julian year as prescribed by Julius Caesar, on January 1.

Catholics protested, since the ecclesiastical calendar still started on March 25th. To mark their position, they began to openly celebrate the arrival of their “New Year”.

The celebrations lasted a week, making the first working day of the year, in fact, April 1st.

The most faithful subjects of the French king, who began to celebrate the New Year on January 1st, were hostile to Catholics who insisted on using the “Annunciation Style”.

As time passed, hostilities gave rise to pranks and “pranks”.

Until, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII promoted what became known as the Gregorian reform of the calendar, making the beginning of the ecclesiastical year official on January 1st and agreeing with the civil year.

But the tradition of “pranks” had already been formed, and ended up being exported to the rest of the world. Since then, April 1st has been known as April Fools’ Day.

And that is the purest truth!

Alexandre Cherman is an astronomer, Fundação João Goulart Institute

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: April #1st April Fools Day

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