Monday, March 31, 2008

Just Fooling Around

Happy April Fool’s Day. Or Silly April Fool’s Day. Or Playful April Fool’s Day. In any case, have a Fun April Fool’s Day, because that’s what the day is all about.

Here are two links with some historical (hysterical?) perspective on this auspicious day:

Here’s an excerpt from the explanation at the first link:

“The current thinking is that (the observance) began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under Charles IX. The Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved from March 25-April 1 (new year's week) to January 1.

“Communication traveled slowly in those days and some people were only informed of the change several years later. Still others, who were more rebellious, refused to acknowledge the change and continued to celebrate on the last day of the former celebration, April 1. These people were labeled ‘fools’ by the general populace, were subject to ridicule and sent on ‘fool errands,’ sent invitations to nonexistent parties and had other practical jokes played upon them. The butts of these pranks became known as a "poisson d'avril" or ‘April fish’ because a young naive fish is easily caught. In addition, one common practice was to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke.

“This harassment evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continues on the first day of April. This tradition eventually spread to Britain and Scotland in the 18th century and was introduced to the American colonies by the English and the French. Because of this spread to other countries, April Fool's Day has taken on an international flavor with each country celebrating the holiday in its own way.”

So the foolish message of the day is: Rebooting is not a fool’s errand! And that’s no April Fool!


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