April Fools' Day

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 01 Apr, 2016

Bits and bobs

Pic from www.santabanta.com

The exact origins of April Fools’ Day, also known as All Fools’ Day remain a mystery.

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull decreeing a new standard calendar for Christian Europe that would take his name and centuries later become the standard internationally in the 21st century.

Prior to the 15th century, Europe’s nations and city states operated using the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar moved the date of the new year from April 1 to January 1, among other changes. Catholic monarchies were naturally its earliest adopters, though Protestant nations later followed suit.

Given the nature of the reform some Europeans continued to celebrate the new year between March 25 and April 1. April fools were those who still celebrated the holiday in the spring, and were the subject of pranks and ridicule by those who observed the new year months ago.

These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolise a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century which in Scotland became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

Whatever pranks you play today, be kind :-)

The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 01 Jan, 2018
Je vous souhaite une bonne et heureuse année 2018
Tanti Auguri di Felice Anno Nuovo 2018
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and lucky 2018

#SmashYourCeiling

Laura xxx
By The Alchemist About Town 31 Dec, 2017
Let's welcome the New Year together...
A year full of joy, happiness, health and wealth  - Believe in Yourself, You Can #SmashYourCeiling

Cheers xxx
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