Archive for April, 2009

April Fool

Posted: April 1, 2009 in social issues
Tags: , ,

As usual, April Fool’s Day is here and I remembered the days when we used to fool each other during school and college days. It is not only we but so many get fooled across the world. I received a mail giving the ‘gyaan’ about the fool’s day.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” (Shakespeare — As You Like It)

The origin of April Fool’s Day is rather uncertain. However, the common belief holds that during the reformation of the calendar the date for the New Year was moved from April 1st to January 1st.

During that time in history there was no television or radio so word spread slowly. There were also those who chose to simply ignore the change and those who merely forgot. These people were considered ‘fools’ and invitations to non-existent parties and other practical jokes were played on them. ‘All Fools’ Day’ is practiced in many parts of the world with practical jokes and sending people on a fool’s errand. Others believe that the origin began with celebrations at the Spring Equinox.

ANCIENT ROME: The custom of playing practical jokes on friends was part of the celebrations in ancient Rome on March 25 (Hilaria). The timing seems related to the vernal equinox and the coming of spring a time when nature fools us with sudden changes between showers and sunshine.

ENGLAND: In England, tricks can be played only in the morning. If a trick is played on you, you are a ‘noodle’. Widespread observance in England began in the 18th century.

SCOTLAND: In Scotland, April Fool’s Day is 48 hours long and fools are called an ‘April Gowk’, which is another name for a cuckoo bird. The second day is called Taily Day and is dedicated to pranks involving the buttocks. Taily Day’s gift to posterior posterity is the still-hilarious ‘Kick Me’ sign.

FRANCE: In France, the April Fool’s is called ‘April Fish’ (Poisson d’Avril). The French fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends’ backs and when someone discovers this trick, they yell ‘Poisson d’Avril!’

SPAIN: Dia de los Santos Inocentes is held in Spain on December 28th. This is The Feast of the Holy Innocents. It is celebrated similarily to April Fool’s Day, with practical jokes.

AMERICA: The English, Scotch and French introduced the custom to their colonies in America. One of our forefathers’ favorite jokes was to send someone on a ‘fool’s errand’. For example, one might have been asked to go out and obtain a copy of ‘The History of Adam’s Grandfather, or bring back some ‘sweet vinegar.’

MEXICO: The ‘foolish’ tradition is celebrated in Mexico, too, but on a different day and for different reasons. ‘El Dia de los Inocentes’, which is December 28, was set aside as a day for Christians to mourn Herod’s slaughter of innocent children. Over time, the tone of that the ‘unluckiest of days’ has evolved from sadness to good-natured trickery.

Typical April Fools’ pranks include putting salt in sugar bowls and sugar in salt shakers, balancing a pan of water atop a partially opened door so that whoever walks into the room next gets soaked, and putting toothpaste between the sides of an Oreo cookie.

Get up in during the night on April Fool’s day, set every clock in the house ahead one hour. Also the clock in the car, and wristwatch! (This takes some talent!) The family will be up and ready for work an hour early, then with no trouble with traffic or parking, they begin to wonder why others are also late to work.After other people arrive and say, no *I’m not late* they soon catch on!

Swap your parents’ dresser drawers.

Here’s one for next year, if you plan ahead now…
Buy a stack of newspapers dated April 1 and save them for a year. When April 1 comes around again, sneak them into one of those newspaper vending machines at a location where people will sit and read them after purchase. Watch the faces of people read their year-old papers, and when they realize the date on it!

If a co-worker is selling a car, leave a message that you’re interested, and the number for the local junkyard!