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April Fools’ Day
The tradition of playing practical jokes on each other started long, long ago, according to one account it started with Noah. When he thought the floods had subsided he sent out a dove, but the dove returned because it was unable to find firm ground. Noah was mistaken and the mission was a fool’s errand.
The date was said to have been April 1st and so the day became known as “Old Fools’ Day” The name was changed to “All Fools’ Day” probably because it was thought that Noah, who was a decent, righteous man, should not be remembered as the Old Fool.
Another explanation has a much greater historical significance. Until 1564 New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25th and this day was a happy and festive occasion. However, quite often it coincided with Good Friday and the Easter festivities, which are important times in the Christian Religion, so the authorities decided to move New Year’s Day to April 1st. Many people forgot about the new calendar and so on April 1st they celebrated the “New Year’ and the people who did remember started making fun of them and so a tradition was born. When Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar, New Year’s Day was again moved, this time to January 1st.
No matter which reason is true, the 1st of April has become a day for mischief, though of an innocuous kind. It is a day for laughter, but tradition also says that all joking must cease at noon. Anyone playing a joke on somebody after that time makes a fool of himself. April Fool’s Day is a day for fun and everyone should remain vigilant until after 12 noon. Have some fun this April Fool’s Day but don’t be an April Fool yourself.