To not have a set-in-stone origin of history for a well known ‘holiday’ is already unusual, so it fits that this unknown explanation belongs to April Fool’s Day. Also known as All Fool’s Day, its back story has many theories as to when this day actually started. Some historians date it back to the 1500s when Pope Gregory XIII made the Gregory Calendar to replace the Julian Calendar, except that people did not want to accept these new dates and the ones who did not run with the crowd got made fun of and were sent on ‘fool’s errands’ which send people on quests that do not exist. Other explanations involve a Roman festival called Hilaria or tied to the vernal equinox.
Whichever historical background you believe this is tied to, it is still practiced today, whether people love it or not. To some it is a day to poke fun at each other and make snide remarks or gags that are usually forgiven if it ends with one saying, “April Fools!” However others take it more extreme with dangerous pranks and jokes that seem to never end. We would think that children would take this day more seriously and put more thought into pranks on the playground, but sometimes it is the adults that find more joy into pranking others.
In fact, we dedicate our creativeness and entertainment to pranks! TV shows like Punk’D or Scare Factor or even the Jackass gang became hit shows and movies because of the pure enjoyment we see of people getting scared or pranked. I myself was never a fan of these ‘reality shows’ but it seems the majority of social media viewers still tune in to popular shows on TV and online.
I suppose the biggest reason April Fools and all these prank shows still tickle us with joy is not only fixed with tradition, but it can let out the creative side in a person. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…Memorial Day Weekend, are always tied to fun holiday cheer and the only creative mindset that goes into these so called holidays are what to make for dinner and decorations to put up. Usually Martha Stewart is already creating that creativity for you anyway. But April Fools Day is known for its creativeness. If friends, family, and coworkers get into a tradition, every year needs to top the last; bigger and better.
There is also a sense of joy to this All Fool’s Day. We adults long to go back to the simplicity of kindergarten and have recess again with nap time. We humans are nostalgic for ‘once was’ and always try to reach that same level of childhood wonder. April Fools seems like a simple little holiday but underneath it all, it gives us freedom to be a little childish and have that same excitement to bring each other closer together through the small jokes and gags, to the big pranks that make us question if you should really trust that person ever again.
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