Hello, and welcome to four-one-one-four! But you can call it Sister Mercy April is finally here. Unlike the first of every other month, April 1st marks the day we tell children the world is canceling summer. This is known as April Fools’ Day!
April Fools’ Day goes back to the ancient Romans, who celebrated the Spring equinox with a religious festival they named Hilaria.
Marking the end of winter’s gloom, the Hilaria festival featured the usual ancient Roman amusements, such as walking the length of the village crumbling under the weight of the Goddess statue you’re made to carry:
She’s Cybele, the mother of all Goddesses, even though in other civilizations she was known as Gaia, and Rhea, and Demeter, and broken:
But Hilaria was also known as a lighthearted holiday that encouraged masquerades, rejoicing, and public sacrifice:
Next stop in our history of April Fools’ Day, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was misinterpreted so that readers thought Chaucer pinpointed March 32nd as being the day a vain cock was fooled by a fox:
Which brings us to our final explanation of April Fool’s Day: most European towns throughout the Middle Ages celebrated New Year’s Day on March 25th — and France’s celebration lasted one week, culminating on April 1st. And it is said that those who celebrated New Year’s Day on January 1st made fun of the French and their foolish April 1st New Year: