In France, before their Revolution, the year began on April 1st. It made sense. It was near the spring equinox, and the end of the winter season. A time to plant, and begin the year anew.
Then the fanatics took power in Paris, and decreed the year would now begin on January 1st, near the winter solstice, when the sun begins to shine longer in the northern winter. It made more sense, from a scientific point of view.
But in the countryside of France, old traditions died hard, and the people still began their year on the first of April. Because they were old fashioned, they were mocked as April Fools.
But in some sense, they weren’t fools at all, and today really is the beginning of a new year. It has promise. Throughout its history, Providence has been kind to this country. May it continue.