April Fools’ Day – Start of a New Year

April Fools’ Day – Start of a New Year

By Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM                                    Ireland                                       01.04.2024

Today is April 1st and Easter Monday. It is a nice kind of co-incidence. Although the origins of April Fool’s Day cannot be known for certain, some people believe that it originated in France. After the Council of Trent, France made the shift from the Julian Calendar, where the New Year began in Spring, to the Gregorian calendar that we use today (January 1st). So those who continued celebrating in the Spring were laughed at and called Fools. Other people think it began in England, much earlier than that, in the time of Chaucer.

No matter what its origins, Easter Monday is a call for us to make a new beginning. We have prepared ourselves during the season of Lent for this great feast. We acclaim in words and song, “Christ has risen!”.

Now we are away from our church services and back into daily life. This is when the fun begins. In some ways we believe and have experienced the Resurrection if we call ourselves Christian. From now on we are challenged to put that belief into our humdrum ordinary lives. I think it asks of us a positive attitude to life. Yes, there is evil in the world, there are wars and natural disasters, but deep down we know and trust that with the Resurrection everything has changed. Christ has risen not just for Himself and the Father, but to assure us that we too will overcome, will rise with him. I think this is a comforting message for us in times of bleakness. It is the rock to which we cling.

On a much lighter note, the other day I remembered a famous April Fool’s joke that the BBC played. It broadcast a film in their “Panorama” current affairs series purporting to show Swiss farmers picking freshly grown spaghetti, in what they called the Swiss spaghetti harvest. The BBC was soon flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a hoax on the main news the next day!!
I am always a sucker for April Fools jokes – I wonder what one I will fall for this year?