Monday, 1 April 2019

April Days

April weather, rain and sunshine both together

There are many weather sayings for April probably because it was peak time for farming and gardening but can have such varied weather, so country people would be looking for any clues as to what sort of weather was likely.
Many of the rhymes are hoping for a wet or cold April

April wet, good wheat

April has thirty days and if it rains on thirty-one, no harm would be done 

A dry April is not the farmers will,
April wet is what he would rather get.

There are often a few warm days at the end of March or beginning of April which brings the Blackthorn into flower then the weather will often turn colder which is called The Blackthorn Winter. According to forecasts that looks very likely for this year. We had Friday and Saturday with temperatures up to 17℃ and this week coming will be much colder with frosts at night.

Here's the April page from An Illustrated Country Year by Celia Lewis.

Of course as the first is April Fool's day there is a rhyme attached

If it thunders on All Fools Day
It brings good crops of corn and hay

  How the custom  of April Fools Day began is uncertain. It might have been the last day of New Year Festivities when the New Year began on 25th March

The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools' Day
But why people call it so,
Nor I nor they themselves do know

In the book The English Year it says the first known reference is from a manuscript from around 1686 which states"Fooles Holy Day - we observe it on ye first of April" but there are no references to it in plays and poems from the 16th or 17th centuries or in diaries or letters of the time. But through the 18th century it must have been well known as it is well recorded.

Back Tomorrow


  1. I love your folk lore posts and this one is no exception. Thank you.

  2. You always have such interesting information. I've often wondered when the April Fool's day tradition started. I love the illustrations in that book - they are all quite unique.

  3. I’m rather hoping for a wet April. No rain here for the last three weeks. Another fine print from Celia Lewis, by the way.

  4. It looks like is another nice day.

  5. Today is the birthday of my daughter's other half, who is currently working in Scotland, so although he doesn't read blogs I wish him a Happy Birthday anyway.

    I looked up April Fool's Day in a book I have which is Concise Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and it says -
    "It may be a relic of the Roman CEREALIA, held at the beginning of April. The tale is that PROSERPINA was sporting in the Elysian meadows and had just filled her lap with daffodils, when PLUTO carried her off to the lower world. Her mother, CERES, heard the echo of her screams and went in search of the voice; but her search was a fool's errand, it was 'hunting the gowk', or looking for the 'echo of a scream'".
    It is all fascinating.

  6. Love all the folklore, the illustration was stunning, a real delight.

  7. The lino cut picture is gorgeous - I wish I had time to do more. I will miss the April Fool's joke at work this year - they invariably caught us out even though you know it is 1st April!

  8. It was always only until noon that you could play jokes on April Fools Day but nobody ever seems to mention this anymore.

  9. There were some brilliant April Fools jokes on Facebook this morning. Including one from UKCop Humour announcing 'an amnesty for any criminals handing themselves in with proof of their crimes'. Gosh I hope someone fell for it 😀

  10. I never thought of linking April Fools with the pranks of Twelfth Night. Thank you.

  11. The farmers are currently wanting rain in Norfolk and Suffolk. Farming doesn't change much.

  12. We are wanting rain here now that the snow is finally gone. Problem is the forecast is calling for snow later this week. I am not at all happy. Wow, I love the illustration.

    God bless.

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