This is a day that has always been near and dear to my heart. It was the birthday of my departed, paternal grandmother Grace Knox Saunders. Most people called her Bama (sounds like Bamm Mah). She was my special angel when she was physically here, and I’m sure she’s one of the heavenly angels watching over me, keeping me sane and out of trouble. She used to tell me how the other kids in school would tease her because she was born on April 1st. but she never let it bother her too much.
I always wondered the history behind this day. I decided to do a little research to find out. There are several variations, but here is the prevailing account. Well, it seems that in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered the adoption of a new calendar, moving New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st. Changing the official start of the New Year confused a lot of people. Lots of people didn’t get the memo. People who didn’t realize it was an official Pope-sanctioned change (lots of people had no clue) and still celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1st, three months after everyone else. So, people played tricks and pranks on them, telling them a ridiculous, far-fetched (untrue) tale or by sending them on a bogus, wild good goose chase – referred to as a “fool’s errand” by those in power.
Over the years, it has become a tradition to play pranks on friends and associates. Although, some folklore holds that the prankster must complete the prank by Noon or he or she will face periods of bad luck. I never played such a trick or prank. To me, it was always a special day for my Bama. She was always so very special to me, and I know she’s looking down upon me and knows how much I miss her.