What Makes a Fool

by - Saturday, April 02, 2016

AprilF0

The first day of April is April Fools' Day.

The day where pranks and fools are simply allowed and legitimate, everywhere and everyone throughout the day.

It is all in the name of having fun and goofing around.

But, how did this whole thing came about and when did it exactly started?
The most important question, why April 1st and not the 1st of any other month?
Why did this particular date and why is it associated with fools or making a fool out of others?

There are just so many questions about the origins of this practice and overall, the culture which has stemmed so deep in the societies all around the world.

Yet, it is funny (yes, pun intended) that the day of humor observed by the entire world could not to be traced to an exact point of origin, nor one that could be confirmed that it was indeed how the whole thing started.

The closest would be the Middle Ages and interestingly linked to the Pope; Pope Gregory XIII whom the Gregorian calendar was named after.
During the Middle Ages, the New Year's Day was celebrated towards the end of March, on the 25th which signify the change of the calendar and the start of another year.

That changed in 1582; when the Pope initiated the Gregorian Calendar where the year would then start on the 1st of January in the calendar; subsequently moving the New Year's day (and celebrations) to the new date.

The change was made public and eminent; though there were still those who were not aware of the change or perhaps took time to adapt; and a slip of mind where they continued to celebrate as usual on the 25th of March.

Perhaps it was the minority who failed to recognize the date; which led them to be ridiculed and mocked for not adopting the new date or even celebrating on the wrong date.
In short, for their oblivion to new changes taking place.
As such, they were referred to as fools and became the butt of jokes among the population which probably attributed to the origin of this event.

The jokes and pranks included the placing of a paper fish on the backs of those who were unaware which were known as poisson d'avail (April fish in French) as referenced by a French poet Eloy d' Amerval.
The notion of the fish was said to symbolize that of the young fish which are easily caught and thus perceived as gullible, or simply naive.
Therefore, the April Fish was also known as April Fool which led to this popular reference until this very day.

The origins of this humor-based day traced to that of the Pope, but in reality it was not supposed to have an actual stand on the religious grounds.
However, at the same time, the day; though not officially a holiday does still holds a significance in the Judeo-Christian history.

Then there is also that misconception that the day was also associated (or related) to the Feast of Fools observed among the medieval Christians.

Perhaps the utter confusion of the entire story leading to the day led to its no end of being a joking matter?
Nobody knows.

April Fools' Day continue to be celebrated around the world; with many treating it as a day to enjoy a good laugh.
Well, mainly laughing at others.

Perhaps it really takes a good sport to enjoy the pranks and tricks, though there are those who will really take the whole thing a little too far; which could involve matters of sensitivities.

While there are no general rules on the nature of the jokes or pranks, and even the media or major corporations would partake and indulge in a prank or two through public headlines to trick the public on the day itself followed by the clarification on the very next day (sometimes even in revelation at the end of the article itself), it is still mindful to take note of the type of jokes or rather, deemed appropriate at all.

Call me conservative (I admit I really am), but I am not in favor of jokes which could play with another's feelings or anxiety.
It is far from the matter of judging, but a false emergency or an alarming news involving one's loved one is just inappropriate.

Furthermore, toying with one's sensitive emotions especially when it comes to matters of affection or one's care and attention on matters of importance may affect the person pranked way beyond that one day.
It is no laughing matter definitely, and even distasteful to say the least.

While it is all about having a good sense of humor, it is still important to also take note of the fact that not everyone could handle jokes; be it in any form (small or big) for that matter.
Some could be really serious and we could end up hurting them more than we thought.

Then there is also that health risks to consider, for there could be people who could be frightened or even surprised to death (literally, and in reality) despite it being a harmless joke and only meant as a scare.

In all, it is all about mindfulness and well, plain common sense.

I have nothing against the whole notion of April Fools' Day; growing up, I remembered those little jokes or just tiny lies passed around the classroom or among friends on the day for that good laugh.
I was never one to play pranks on others, and I don't really recall ever pulling off or even participating in any major ones on another, though I was probably fooled before.

But as words of wisdom go, and one that I will always remember on this day, which really works is that 
"As long as it's April Fools' Day, I will not believe in everything or anything, well, generally"

It is okay to be fooled, in the name of good humor, but just make sure not to fall for the same joke multiple times.
You may not be a fool for falling a joke the first time, but continuously, well, you can hold the label.

Fool me once, Shame on you
Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me
- Chinese Proverb -


Not surprisingly, April Fools' Day is not a public holiday anywhere else in the world.


With all that being said, life is also simply too short to take it too seriously sometimes, as long as we are mindful of others and practice moderation to avoid harming another.

Sometimes, it is really okay to be a fool once in a while.

As Shakespeare say, "Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit"

What say you?

To fool or not to fool? 
(in the context of jokes)


P.S:
I am not a big fan of calling anyone a fool, and anyone who likes calling another a fool, what can I say?

Simply, "It really takes ONE to Know ONE"




*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
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