April 1st is April Fools’ Day, one of the most widely celebrated non-religious holidays in the world.
The origin of this holiday is not clear. Some claim that it dates back to 1582 when the Council of Trent in France discontinued the use of the Julian calendar (which marks the new year with the spring equinox - around April 1st ) and changed to the Gregorian calendar which celebrates the new year on January 1st. Those who didn’t recognize this change became the brunt of jokes that included placing paper fish on their back and calling them “poisson d’avaril or April Fish suggesting that they were an easy catch or gullible.
The Romans celebrated it during the festival of Hilaria when members of the cult of Cybele dressed up and mocked authority figures and the like. Another tale was that it coincided with the spring equinox when unpredictable weather was linked to Mother Nature.
In the 18th century, Scotland celebrated Gowk Day – the “hunting of the gowk” or cuckoo bird - which represented a fool. April 2nd is Tailie Day when paper tails or “kick me” signs are pinned to someone’s back!
The country of Brazil celebrates Dia da Mentira – Lie Day – when loved ones are fooled with silly capers.
There are many variations between countries but they all have the same mission…silly antics to make someone play the fool. Today, April Fools’ Day jokes are embraced by everyone from the mainstream media to your very own mother!!
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY from your friends at Swell Vision!