Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fools

I don't know about you all but have you ever wondered how April Fools Day came to be?  For some reason this year I had this desire to find out the answer to that question, so I Goggled it and below is the article I found and liked.  Hope you all enjoy it also:   

"April Fools' Day: Origin and History

The uncertain origins of a foolish day

by David Johnson and Shmuel Ross

April Fools' Day, sometimes called All Fools' Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a newcalendar.

New Year's Day Moves

Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year's Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year's day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.

Problems With This Explanation

There are at least two difficulties with this explanation. The first is that it doesn't fully account for the spread of April Fools' Day to other European countries. The Gregorian calendar was not adopted by England until 1752, for example, but April Fools' Day was already well established there by that point. The second is that we have no direct historical evidence for this explanation, only conjecture, and that conjecture appears to have been made more recently.

Constantine and Kugel

Another explanation of the origins of April Fools' Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.
"In a way," explained Prof. Boskin, "it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor."
This explanation was brought to the public's attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they'd been victims of an April Fools' joke themselves.

Spring Fever

It is worth noting that many different cultures have had days of foolishness around the start of April, give or take a couple of weeks. The Romans had a festival named Hilaria on March 25, rejoicing in the resurrection of Attis. The Hindu calendar has Holi, and the Jewish calendar has Purim. Perhaps there's something about the time of year, with its turn from winter to spring, that lends itself to lighthearted celebrations.

Observances Around the World

April Fools' Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include sending someone on a "fool's errand," looking for things that don't exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.
The French call April 1 Poisson d'Avril, or "April Fish." French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered."
I had a friend got married on April Fools, because she never dreamed in her wildest dreams that she would be married.  I can't remember how many years ago that happened but she is still happily married, guess she was the one "fooled."
May you all have a fun filled day with smiles and humorous pranks!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day thought

I have always enjoyed Saint Patrick Day.  

I always made it a point to wear green 

to school, so that I was not one 

who got the dreaded "pinch."

As I grew older my friends would rave about 

the "green beer, Corned Beef and Cabbage, 

Four leaf clovers, Luck of the Irish 

and so on.

I found this article in the Desert News 

and I enjoyed what the author shared.  

I found myself reflecting on His challenge on 

what would happen if there ever was a 

"Saint Lorie's Day" and how would I want it to be celebrated.  

What a profound and deep idea to think about.

One of my first thoughts was, "I would like it to be a 

day when every one was a little kinder to each and every 

person they passed."  

Then the lyrics of a beloved 

hymn started playing in my mind:

"More holiness give me, More strivings within;

More Patience in Suffering, More Sorrow for sin;

More faith in my Savior, More sense of his care;

More joy in his service, More purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, More trust in the Lord;

More pride in his glory, More hope in his word;

More tears for his sorrows, More pain at his grief;

More meekness in trial, More praise for relief.

More purity give me, More strength to o'er-come;

More freedom from earths stains, More longing for home;

More fit for the kingdom, More used would I be;

More blessed and holy, More Savior like thee."

I love those verses!!!  

What a wonderful plea/prayer in a song!!  

You know If I could become "more Savior like thee."

My life would be for me "legendary!"

I copied and pasted the original article so that others

could enjoy this reporters thoughts and insights

and then ask themselves, 

"What if I were to be canonized someday?"

and "do I want my life to be legendary or insignificant?"

"Value Speak: 

The real St. Patrick's Day"

"According to legend, St. Patrick's greatest claim to fame 
was being charismatic enough to charm all of Ireland's snakes off of the Emerald Isle and into the sea where they drowned.
I love that legend. Of course, I love any story that results in fewer snakes — legendary or otherwise. But I can't help but wonder how Patrick himself would feel about the legend, and the way his life and legacy are celebrated every St. Patrick's Day.
Take, for example, those "Kiss me, I'm Irish" buttons. While Patrick would probably appreciate the gesture — especially the kissing part — he would be the first to point out that he wasn't actually Irish. He was native-born British who was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. After six years of slavery, he managed to escape Ireland and return to his home in Britain. Rather than being filled with bitterness and resentment toward the Irish, however, he was consumed by the idea of returning to Ireland to convert his captors to Christianity.
Somehow, "Baptize me, I'm British" doesn't have the same jovial ring, does it?
St. Patrick's Day today is also a big day for visiting your favorite pub and hoisting a few while singing Irish folk songs. Now, I don't know how much time Patrick spent in the Irish pubs of his time, but I'm pretty sure he spent a lot more time in church. He founded more than 300 churches during his ministry in Ireland and baptized more than 120,000 converts.
Tradition has it that the use of the shamrock as Ireland's national symbol was born when he used one as a visual aid to teach the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity (you didn’t know that those magically delicious green marshmallow clovers in your morning bowl of Lucky Charms had theological significance, did you?).
So if we're really going to celebrate St. Patrick and what he was about we should probably do it in church, perhaps while reading his autobiographical "Confession," in which Patrick chronicled his spiritual journey through life. But I suspect that has about as much chance of happening as Mother O’Brien serving her corned beef sans cabbage March 17.
Or Notre Dame changing its mascot from the Fightin' Irish to the Baptizin' British.
All of which makes me wonder: What if I were to be canonized some day? Hey, it could happen. How would people appropriately celebrate Saint Joseph's Day? Would it be a day to do good deeds, to say kind things and to make the world a better place in which to live? Or would it be a day to ignore your wife, swear at the computer and watch TV while complaining that the world is going to heck in a handbasket?
I'm not going to answer that. At least, not right now. Thankfully, I've still got time to make my life more worthy of celebration — if not by the masses, at least by those who live around me.
But what about you? What if you knew there was someday going to be a St. Mel’s Day, or a St. Annette’s Day, or a St. Carolyn's Day? How would you want it to be observed? Would you want the world to celebrate your life as it is or would you like to do a little fine tuning before the celebration begins?
That's a decision we must each make for ourselves. Are our lives going to be insignificant or are they going to be legendary? Are we going to get by or are we going to get going? Are we just going to sit there or are we going to stand for something?
The choice is ours, every day of our lives.
I just have one request: If you choose to do something with your life, would you please try to include something about snakes? I'll celebrate anything that results in fewer snakes.
Legendary or otherwise."
To read more by Joseph B. Walker, Twitter: JoeWalkerSr