The origins of words, celebrations, and beliefs have always fascinated me. Getting to the root of why something exists, its journey through history, and its multiple meanings is where I find the magic in language and life.
One such root I adore is that of the luminous Kingfisher bird. Elegant, electrically bright, water-hugging creatures that easily brighten anyone's day.
In Ancient Greece, they were called halcyons (hal-see-un), a word which now lives on in the phrase 'halcyon days': to recall a perfect, easeful day in the bright, warm sun.
And recently, I've learned (one of) the possible roots for April Fool's Day.
As we sit at the precipice of a new solar cycle, I feel disconnected from the societal messages of 'let's go!'. Especially when the feeling of hibernation is still so strong within me, renewal feels a little way off yet.
While I'll always advocate for gentle emergence into any new journey, this year, I long for less, not more.
And then comes a beautiful passing anecdote that our New Year wasn't always December into January but March into April.
Before the calendar systems of Rome, ancient cultures centred the new year at the time of Spring, when nature began to feel abundant, bright and fresh. A time where I hope you'll agree you feel these sensations too.
So, 31st March was New Year's Eve, and 1st April was New Year's Day.
However, the new year shifted three months earlier when the Julian and later Gregorian calendrical systems were introduced. So, to continue celebrating the New Year on 1st April, you were considered a fool and fair game for pranks galore!
So I can now continue to fall asleep at 11pm on 31st December, peacefully enjoying my JOMO while I await the arrival of my new year in April.
- It's worth mentioning that almost all distinctive cultures across the globe celebrate a type of new year at all kinds of different times. Diwali is considered the Hindu New Year, Chinese New Year is at the end of January, and the Jewish New Year switches regularly between September & October.
So I say celebrate your own personal time of renewal - it doesn't make you a fool. It makes you, YOU!