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By: Aishwarya Raghunath
Happy New year!!!Well, I have not gone mad, neither am I fooling anybody. But rather this is the very reason why April 1st came to be called as April fool’s day. This and various other instances contributed to this day being called April fool’s day.
Some unknown facts of April fool’s day :
Example of Julian & Gregorian calendar.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year’s Day to be celebrated Jan 1.
In the middle age New year was celebrated on March 25th in European countries. People for celebrating New year went on a week long holiday which ended on April 1st. Thus, those who celebrated New year on 1st January according to the Gregorian calendar started to mock them as April fools as they were still unaware of the date change.
Another story is Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which was set, “Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two”, literally meaning 32 days from march that is 2nd may celebrated as the engagement day of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. Later due to copying error the word “syn march” got deleted & people misread it to be March 32nd i.e 1st April. Thus, anointing the day as April fool’s day.
Also in few parts of Romania this day is celebrated as Hilaria, a festival similar to holi, where people play pranks on each other.
The French call April 1 Poisson d’Avril, or “April Fish.” French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying “Poisson d’Avril” when the prank is discovered.
During the reign of constantine, a group of jesters & fools challenged him that they could run the empire in a better way. Thus, Constantine allowed a clown named Kugel to run the empire for a day. He declared it as a day of absurdity & remained serious the whole day.
“In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”
This explanation soon was brought to the public’s attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.
Thus, all these things contributed April 1st to be called as April fool’s day
Images courtesy : Google images
Info from April: via April Fools’ Day: Origin and History | Infoplease.com.