Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's

"Patron Saint of Pitying Fools"
 Today's day of pranks and jokes is arguably Catholic.  Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull, ‘Inter Gravissimus’ on February 24, 1582 that established the Gregorian calendar as the official calendar of the Catholic world. Since the Julian calendar had fallen ten days behind over the centuries, Pope Gregory XIII designated that October 4, 1582 would be officially followed by October 15, 1582. The news of the calendar change spread quickly across Europe. With a new calendar, ten days would be ‘lost’ forever, the new year would now begin on January 1 instead of March 25, and there would be a new method of determining the date of Easter.
The story is that the celebration of the new year was held at the Vernal Equinox (March 21-April 1) until the decree. Since there were still many people who did not know of the changes, they innocently celebrated the new year on or around April 1 and..thus..were considered to be April Fools!

Pope Gregory XIII introduced the calendar we now use and rode on a dragon.
Google has this really cool timeline deal with the various histories of April Fool's Day.