April Fools’ Day

Introduction

“April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day, though not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, enemies and neighbors, or sending them on fools’ errands, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. In some countries, April Fools’ jokes (also called “April Fools”) are only made before noon on 1 April.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fool’s_Day)

Its’ not that much celebrated here because sometimes it coincides with Holy Week and that’s a more important event than April Fools. Still in some places -mostly in companies and malls – people do celebrate and play jokes on each other to commemorate the day.

April Fool

History of April Fools

Where’s the New Year?

Simply put, before the rise of Christianity as the major religion in Europe, people and countries celebrated the New Year just after the vernal equinox – March 20 0r 21. But this changed when Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar system to be used to replace the old Julian Calendar. “According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued o celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on “fool’s errands” or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.”  (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html)

Other reasons

“The Dutch celebrate the 1st of April for other reasons. In 1572, the Netherlands were ruled by Spain’s King Philip II. Roaming the region were Dutch rebels who called themselves Geuzen, after the French “gueux,” meaning beggars. On April 1, 1572, the Geuzen seized the small coastal town of Den Briel. This event was also the start of the general civil rising against the Spanish in other cities in the Netherlands. The Duke of Alba, commander of the Spanish army could not prevent the uprising. Bril is the Dutch word for glasses, so on April 1, 1572, “Alba lost his glasses.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fool’s_Day)

Spring Fever

“It is worth noting that many different cultures have had days of foolishness around the start of April, give or take a couple of weeks. The Romans had a festival named Hilaria on March 25, rejoicing in the resurrection of Attis. The Hindu calendar has Holi, and the Jewish calendar has Purim. Perhaps there’s something about the time of year, with its turn from winter to spring, that lends itself to lighthearted celebrations.”  (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html)

Conclusion

Whatever reason why April 1 has become a Fools’ Day, it’s good to have one day of the year dedicated to fun and laughter. Just think about it, it’s fun playing a joke on someone you know, it’s fun to plan your gags and tricks; but its also fun to be the object of a joke – people actually took the time to call your attention. We have a saying here that goes like this: “Bato-bato sa langit, ang tamaan ‘wag magagalit.” It gets interpreted in many ways depending on the context, but mainly it means not to be pissed when someone plays a joke on you on April 1. Because if you react negatively, you’ll be spoiling the spirit of this “holiday.” So come April 1, get ready, pack lots of your patience with you and smile! April Fool!

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