By Bob Curtis, Local Secretary
It is April, the month of "opening." From Wikipedia, we learn that:
The Romans gave this month the Latin name Aprilis but the derivation of this name is
uncertain. The traditional etymology is from the verb aperire, "to open", in allusion to its
being the season when trees and flowers begin to "open", which is supported by
comparison with the modern Greek use of ??????? (anoixis) (opening) for spring. Since
some of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities, and as April was sacred to
the goddess Venus, her Veneralia being held on the first day, it has been suggested that
Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her equivalent Greek goddess name
Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name Apru. Jacob Grimm suggests the name of
a hypothetical god or hero, Aper or Aprus.
April was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar, before Ianuarius and
Februarius were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC. It became the fourth
month of the calendar year (the year when twelve months are displayed in order) during
the time of the decemvirs about 450 BC, when it also was given 29 days. The 30th day
was added during the reform of the calendar undertaken by Julius Caesar in the mid-40s
BC, which produced the Julian calendar.
The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath. The Venerable Bede
says in The Reckoning of Time that this month Eostur is the root of the word Easter. He
further states that the month was named after a goddess Eostre whose feast was in that
month. It is also attested by Einhard in his work, Vita Karoli Magni.
April Fools' Day (sometimes called April Fool's Day or All Fools' Day) is celebrated
every year on the first day of April as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes
on each other. The jokes and their victims are known as "April fools". Hoax stories may
be reported by the press and other media on this day and explained on subsequent days.
Popular since the 19th century, the day is not a national holiday in any country, but it is
well known in Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and the United States.
Northern New Jersey Mensa will have its next executive committee quarterly meeting on
May 10th. We are still in need of a member willing to help with testing candidates for
Mensa membership. We are very happy with all the organizing and activities Stephanie
Glenn is providing for our gifted youth. We are also planning our summer picnic for
Sunday, August 9th, in Van Saun Park.