How do you feel about April Fools’ Day? Some people relish this opportunity to play tricks on others. My feeble attempts to trick others never seem to work. Maybe my tricks aren’t creative enough, or tricking people is out of my character.
When I taught school the children usually told the same falsehoods to one another. “You’re shoes are untied.” Or “A spider is crawling up your back!” If a person was caught off guard and flinched, the joker felt he or she had succeeded. They would jeer “April Fools ” and everyone laughed, except the “fool.”
How did April Fools’ Day begin? After researching the subject, I learned that it may have originated with the Hilaria festival of the Romans. They celebrated the first day of the year which exceeded the night. The festival honored Cybele, mother of the gods. It was a time of rejoicing. No one was allowed to show any expressions of sorrow. The Romans considered it a good day to marry or be born. Share that with anyone you know with a birthday on April first.
The English promoted their own theory during the 1700’s. For some, April first commemorated the day Noah sent out the first dove to look for land. The dove returned and did not bring back any proof the water receded. This started the tradition of tricking people by sending them on “fools errands”.
Not suprising, the media has also participated in April Fools’ jokes. In 1957 the BBC featured an article about Swiss farmers picking crops of spaghetti. It resulted in a flood of requests for spaghetti plants. By the way, did you know donuts come from seeds that look like little cheerios?
April Fools’ Day can be a stress reliever if the humor is harmless and doesn’t focus on ridiculing others. What’s your opinion? Leave a comment.