Voices from Russia

Saturday, 6 April 2013

6 April 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. April Fool’s Day Throughout the World

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. April Fool’s Day Throughout the World. 2013


Perhaps, April Fool’s Day is one of the few holidays, although it’s never received official recognition, which is widely-celebrated all over the world. Over many years, each country developed its own unique April Fool’s practical jokes and traditions. You can read more about them in the Infographic.

Historians argue over the exact origin of the holiday. One version attributes the origin of this festival to Ancient Rome, where, in mid-February (not at the beginning of April), they held a Fool’s Carnival. Lucius Apuleius thought that ancient Romans associated “April Fool’s” hoaxing with a holiday called the Hilaria, in honour of Cybele the Great Mother goddess {only part of the holiday was a farce, there were serious aspects, too: editor}. Others argue that this holiday originated in ancient India, where they celebrated a Foolish Holiday on 31 March. On the other hand, in the ancient world, some speculate that only the Ancient Irish had a Fool’s Festival on 1 April, in honour of the New YearIcelandic sagas relate that the custom of hoaxing on 1 April started in memory of the ásynja Skaði , daughter of the jötunn Þjazi .

Another version claims that the Fool’s Festival on 1 April in Ancient India and Rome originated as part of the celebration of the vernal equinox. People celebrated with jokes, pranks, and clowning around on New Year’s Day (it occurred in the spring in those days). People tried to appease the whims of spring weather with jokes and spoofing. Yet another variation insists that April Fool’s Day is associated with the transition to the Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni in 1582. In the Middle Ages, people celebrated the New Year in late March… the New Year’s Festival began on 25 March and ended on 1 April. In the middle of the 16th century, King Charles IX reformed the calendar in France, moving the New Year to 1 January, but many continued to celebrate on 1 April. The people who kept the old holiday and gave each other gifts became known as “April Fools”. Yet, everyone wanted in on the fun. It became “April Fool’s Day”, and went on from there.

1 April 2013





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