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Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool and the history behind it

This is a unique picture of 8 months old baby Zuhayr (taken while he was in Dubai with his loving parents). This little darlin' is my nephew's cute junior. As you can see he is siting on a huge throne and what he actually needs now is a crown, "APRIL FOOL" to the world! hehehe ...........

Mostly everyone loves a good practical joke on April Fool's Day .. but where and when did the tradition start?

Pranksters of the world unite on April Fool's Day! While the exact origins of this mischievous holiday are unknown, many believe it all started in France with the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in the 1500s.

April 1st had traditionally been the first day of the new year, and since communication was not what it is today, pranksters would play practical jokes on those not in the know about the date change.

A common practice at the time was placing dead fish on the back of a victim's shirt and shouting "poisson d'avril!" (April fish). While open to debate, it is believed by some that this practice arose from April's proximity in the zodiac to fishy Pisces.

April Fool's Day sometimes called All Fools' Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.

New Year's Day Moves
Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1st. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year's Day to be celebrated Jan. 1st. That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year's day to Jan.1st. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1st. 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.

Problems With This Explanation
There are at least two difficulties with this explanation. The first is that it doesn't fully account for the spread of April Fools' Day to other European countries. The Gregorian calendar was not adopted by England until 1752, for example, but April Fools' Day was already well established there by that point. The second is that we have no direct historical evidence for this explanation, only conjecture, and that conjecture appears to have been made more recently.

Constantine and Kugel
Another explanation of the origins of April Fools' Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.

"In a way," explained Prof. Boskin, "it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor."

This explanation was brought to the public's attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they'd been victims of an April Fools' joke themselves.

Spring Fever
It is worth nothing 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 25th, 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.

Observances Around the World
April Fools' Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include sending someone on a "fool's errand," looking for things that don't exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.

The French call April 1st Poisson d'Avril, or "April Fish." French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered.

As we are all aware, today it is April Fool's Day. I used to be very excited during those days on April Fool's day. I would played all sorts of tricks to my friends and office colleagues for the fun of it to make all of us laugh. I still remember back in school where a mischievous friend pinned up a piece of paper behind another friend's school uniform written in big alphabets "Do what you with me" and below it "April Fool!" But I do not find that was funny at all because it would in a way hurt the poor girl's feeling. I prefer to play different kind of tricks like for example, I would give a friend a nice looking package all wrapped up with colourful ribbons and everything just like a beautiful gift and when opened only to find out a piece of paper written in big alphabets "APRIL FOOL!". This will not hurt anybody, instead they will laugh to be caught in such a situation.

I do not know what you guys did and would do on April Fool's Day, I would like to know too if you like to share here with me in my comment box. Come on, let's hear your stories too in brief.

First two commenters get my Linky love

Wishing on a Falling StarShopping Galore


Mariuca said...

:-D :-D :-D :-D

Mariuca said...

So cute la baby Zuhayr he he he so small on that big throne!! :-D :-D :-D :-D

Mariuca said...

Ohhh I didn know abt the history of April Fool, very interesting indeed, thanks for sharing sweetie! :* :* :* :*

Mariuca said...

Happy April Fool's Day Lil! Last time masa kecik ada jugak buat pranks, nowadays dah takde time to play jokes on ppl hahahaha! =-O =-O :-D :-D :-D :-D

Lil said...

:-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

Lil said...

Ya la, sangat cute baby Zuhayr ni, I saved many of his pics, one day I will post some to my blog. :) :) :) :) :)

Lil said...

Ya lah, mula2 I pun tak tau, but I got it from some articles and I feel that I must share it here. 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)

Lil said...

Happy April Fool's Day to you too Marzie. I will put up your badge now, but later the score point, got to rush now since I kena alter the Scoreboard column and later I have to thanks you guys for the comments and as usual you are always the top here followered by our Super duper LadyJava. I thanks you guys for supporting me withh all your comments always. :) ;) 8-) 8-) :* :* :* :* :* hugzzz to you two

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LadyJava said...

hahahah.. the picture is extremely cute Lil

LadyJava said...

sorry didnt manage to come earlier... sibuk sgt.. ehheh

Lil said...

Hi LadyJava,
Sorry a bit late in replying. I just switched on my pc. Was occupied the whole day today. Memang that pic is exttemely cute. One of these days I going to put up more of this baby photos in my blog, ada lagi yg tersangat cute! :) ;) 8-) :* :* :* :*

Lil said...

It's ok my dear LadyJava, don't have to mention that. I understand, we all have other commitments too, right? Ni kesian Marzie, I belum lagi post FF, thought of doing that tonight. Today I took more pics of my cats and the rescued cats, need nice photos for FF, ashek same pics aje.

:* :* :* :* :* hugzzz and see you around ........

PS: Insha' Allah, I will be going to town either coming Tues or Wednes.

LadyJava said...

Hehee.. wah look forward to it Lil!!

LadyJava said...

Oh you coming to KL ke to your town..

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