Offbeat — 09 September 2013

fool_day

All Fools’ Day or April Fools’ Day is one of the most fun days of the year when tricking someone into doing something silly or mocking someone isn’t supposed to evoke a strong emotional reaction. While everyone remembers having played a prank on the day or having fallen victim to a prank themselves on April 1, not many are aware of the origins of the day. Since there are no accurate historical references that say for certain why April Fool’s Day is celebrated, we only have the following plausible explanations to work with.

A day to mark the ignorance of those who did not know New Year’s Day had been moved

Most ancient cultures marked the beginning of the new year sometime around spring, i.e., during the end of March or the beginning of April. However, the old Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar in which Pope Gregory XIII had decreed that stating in1582, new year’s day would be on January 1. However, some traditionalists continued to celebrate New Year’s Day in spring or on April 1. People who had adopted the new calendar marked and mocked the ignorance of those who did not know that the beginning of the year had been moved or those who deliberately wanted to defy the Pope by sending them on fool’s errands. And thus the practice of celebrating April Fools’ Day was born.

Celebration of spring

Many ancient cultures marked the beginning of the New Year around the vernal equinox in spring. These celebrations included revelry, merry making and feasting- the Hindus had “Holi” in which the merry making was accompanied with the use of color and people were told not to mind the revelry or the mocking on account of the festival; the Romans had a festival called Hilaria and large parts of Europe observes the Feast of Annunciation on March 25 as the beginning of the new year during the middle ages. The spirit of revelry often spilled into what would have been considered crude behaviors and having a day like April Fool’s Day would excuse people for making rude jokes or playing pranks.

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Written by Naresh Chauhan

A writer by chance and a great person to communicate with, Naresh Chauhan lives life as it comes. Being connected to the online media for past five years, blogging and internet have now become his passion as well as profession.

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Naresh Chauhan

A writer by chance and a great person to communicate with, Naresh Chauhan lives life as it comes. Being connected to the online media for past five years, blogging and internet have now become his passion as well as profession.

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