April Fools’ Day truly is one of the most amusing days of the year. This year to play a little laugh of your own, try sending someone a humorous free e-card which contains a small jest or prank of your own. E-cards truly are among the most convenient means at paying back the people that caught you out last year.
Throughout many ancient societies of the Northern Hemisphere, the commencement of the New Year was commemorated on or around the Vernal Equinox, the day on which the Sun’s plane intersects with the Equator, causing the duration of night and day completely equal on all parts of the Earth.
The Vernal Equinox regularly occurs on March 21st or 22nd. A few cultures conducted festivities in February, some as late as May, but the extended timing of the festivities perfectly secured all the revival and excitement of spring, and the rejuvenation of energy associated with the coming of a new year.
In France, the annual New Year commemoration took place in late March, with the festivities lasting up to the 1st of April. When the adoption of the Gregorian calendar swept the Christian world beginning in 1562, and was possibly too ceremoniously advocated by France’s King Charles IX, many people who perhaps preferred the springtime festivity to its substitute or were ignorant of the calendar change, continued to observe the customary, seasonal new year.
These particular traditionalists were made the fools of juvenile pranks played by their more obliging compatriots; hence the name April Fools’ Day.
In France, the term for April Fools’ Day is Poisson d’Avril, which in turn suggests April fish, due to the fact that once the customary joke is delivered or the prank has been discovered, the fooled is referred to as “Poisson d’Avril.” April Fools’ Day takes place during the zodiacal sign Pisces, the sign of which is fish.
Therefore, the French term for the befooled. In England and Scotland, the recipients of practical jokes were similarly referred to as “April gowks,” an expression of ridicule for the cuckoo, a bird regularly found in both temperate and tropical climate areas.
The purpose of an ordinary April Fools’ prank is to convince another person that something untrue is true. Thus prankish practical jokes such as distributing invitations to fake parties, sending folks on fool’s errands, setting clocks behind or ahead of time, sabotaging the restroom seat with food, and endless others are not only commonplace, but may be a fantastic way of sharing a few laughs.
While playing pranks within the context of April Fools’ Day is fitting, they should be ultimately harmless in nature. There is a big difference between hoaxing a friend and being malicious. So presuming your prankster plans are friendly, have lots of laughter on April Fools’ Day!
American writer Mark Twain on April Fools’ Day: “The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.”