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I'd like to welcome any new visitors participating in the A-Z Challenge to the Alleyway! Here, I explore the art of writing and journey of writers. I'm a children's author, writing young adult, middle grade, and picture books. There's also the characteristics of me being a hair-raising mom of 4 humanoids and the dog, but we'll save that for later. I blog on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, so I will observe those letters during those days.
Celebrating the letter A could not have come on a better day: APRIL FOOL'S DAY!!
~ Did you know that April Fool's Day is also known as All Fools Day? AND no, no one seems to know why.
~ Did you know that April Fool's Day has no official day in history that can pinpoint its start? And no, I'm not making this up.
~ Did you know that some believe April Fool's Day was begun in humor, taunting the goodbyes of winter? AND no, no one is really sure of that, either.
Do we know anything about April Fool's Day?? Well, yes, a few facts as they might be known.
There is some correlation between several cultures celebrating the first day of Spring and April Fool's Day. Apparently, the need to breakthrough the doldrums of winter gave many the 'crazies'. Not paranormal speaking, just ants-in-your-pants kind of feeling.
Before Charles IX, the New Year was celebrated on April 1st. Prior to this and somewhere around the year 1582, New Year's Day celebrations started on March 25th, ending with major festivities on...you guessed it, April 1st. But after the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, the start of each new year was moved to January 1st, leaving April 1st lonely and longing for some attention.
Attention she got.
Back then, messages traveled by foot so many didn't receive the announcement until years later--yes, we are all bowing to technology and cyberspace right now. To top off the lack of communication, once people did hear of the change, some shunned it, refusing to conform. They chose to celebrate the New Year on April 1st anyway. This lead so-called leaders and yuppies of the day to label these folks as 'quacks' or better known to us all--Fools.
It was commonplace to single these people out, sending them on 'fool's errands' or simply poking fun at them. (Apparently bullying has existed since the beginning of time.) By sometime within the eighteenth century, exchanging pranks between family, friends, and of course strangers was becoming customary.
Over the years, peoples of all cultures have joined in the fun, coming up with some humorous practical jokes.
In France, French children tape a picture of a fish on their classmates backs. Once the kid figures out they're carrying around a fish on their back, others yell, "Poisson d'Avril!" (April Fish)
Scotland has a great prank which focuses on the 'butt end' of the prankee. Believe it or not, the 'Kick-Me' sign we all went through junior high fearing, the one sometimes taped to the back of a friend originated from Scotland's April Fool's gags.
There are literally hundreds of pranks out there under the guidance of amazing pranksters. Calendars have been changed in someone's Daytimer, and alarm clocks reset to stir and frazzle the recipient--usually some poor college roommate. (I never did that.) Hot sauce and all sorts of food pranks are known all over the world.
FAMILY FUN has a great batch of recipes if you're looking to fool someone special. *wink* They also have crafts and activities you can do with the kids, harmlessly involving them in the day's events.
Let me leave you with a few quotes specifically geared to this most tomfoolery of days.
~ However big the fool, there is always a bigger fool to admire him. Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux
~ Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. Mark Twain
~ He who lives without folly, isn't so wise as he thinks. Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
And my favorite: It is better to be a fool than to be dead. Stevenson
Do you know a fact about APRIL FOOL'S DAY I've yet to mention? Please tell us. Shout it A-loud!!