Here’s Why We ‘Celebrate’ April Fool’s Day
No, it wasn't intended as a joke to include the word "celebrate" in the title of this article about April Fool's Day. I can't say that I actually know anyone who "celebrates" this day. Most of the people I know "tolerate" more than "celebrate". I blame the Internet for that.
You've probably wondered just why in the heck do we acknowledge this day of willful trolling by others. I know I wondered about it and as usual, we can place the blame squarely on the ancient cultures. This time we will blame the Romans. It was a change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar that most likely created the celebration of ignorance that is today.
When ancient people switched from one calendar to the other an important day changed. That day was the first day of the new year. The Julian Calendar suggested that the first day of the year would be around the spring equinox which happens to occur around April 1st every year.
The Gregorian Calendar has the first of the year starting on January 1st or about four months earlier. Those who didn't get the memo or were late in understanding that polite society had switched calendars found themselves celebrating "new year's" at the wrong time. Hence, making them look like fools in April or April Fools.
The pranking aspect of the "holiday" got started with the festival known as Hilaria in ancient Rome. Hilaria is Latin for joyful and yes it's where the word hilarious comes from. During that festival, revellers would dress in costumes and disguises to mock fellow citizens. Hence the trolling and the pranks that we still see today.
As the tradition spread to other cultures new angles on the pranks and jokes started to appear. In Great Britain pranksters would send their friends out on hunts for "Gowks". Gowks are like snipes, they only exist in people's minds so anyone who went out hunting for them was bound to look like a fool.
In today's world, you can expect pranks and jokes and straight-up lies to be spread this day. I would be especially mindful of social media posts that suggest something truly out of the ordinary and remember your favorite news outlets can fall prey to these pranks too.
But just remember if you do get pranked you can always ask your dearly beloved to make a reservation at the Chinese restaurant that sits on top of the Cajundome. It's reservation only and those reservations are hard to come by but still, a great meal served with that view would certainly take the sting out of any April Fool's prank.
I hear the Crab Rangoon and the General Tso's Chicken are to die for. Especially, if you slip on that first step walking out the door and onto the roof. Remember, reservations only, Shhh.
And speaking of other cruel jokes.
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