April 1, 2016

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The first of April isn’t an official holiday: it’s Fool’s Day. But why is this the international day to celebrate foolishness?

One of the theories reminds us that, In medieval France, the Feast of Fools was celebrated on January first. New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25 – but in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII declared that his Gregorian calendar would replace the Julian calendar in all Christian Europe. As a consequence, New Year’s Day was changed to January first. But many people refused to accept the new calendar, and others did not even hear the news (remember, there was no internet and TV had not been invented by that time). The consequence is that many people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day ‘late’ in March. These people were called ‘April fools’ and were subjected to all kinds of jokes.

Another  theory affirms that April Fool’s Day celebrations started long ago, when Ancient Romans held a festival called ‘Hilaria’. On this day, Romans would celebrate the resurrection of Attis, the god of vegetation. Nowadays Romans call this day the ‘Laughing Day’.

But Ancient Romans weren’t the only ones to celebrate April Fool’s Day. People in India still celebrate Holi between February and March. It is a colorful festival that isn’t only for Hindis: non-Hindi people are invited to join in, play jokes and throw colored water on each other.

Persians, too, celebrate Sizdahbedar, a day when Iranians go picnicking outdoors and play jokes on each other.

So, as you can see, it’s hard to find the origins of this celebration – but it certainly spread throughout the world and, now, many countries celebrate it on the same date: April first.

Wanna learn more about April Fool’s Day? Access  http://news.discovery.com/history/origins-of-april-fools-day-20130401.htm and http://dictionary.reference.com/help/faq/language/e16.html to read the original texts and expand you Holiday culture.

IMAGE COURTESY:

• https://www.indymedia.org.uk/images/2005/04/308109.jpg
• http://exposed.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Holi-Festival-1.jpg
• https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/Persians_in_Holland_Celebrating_Sizdah_Bedar,_April_2011_-_Photo_by_Persian_Dutch_Network-PDN.jpg

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