The Significance of the April Fools Day
The month of April starts with some pranks and fun of the April Fool’s Day. In some countries, people pour water on others as a part of fun of the Easter day. April Fool’s Day is considered as a day to promote the sense of humor. Although there is no historical evidence for the origin of this celebration, it is generally accepted that it is a merrymaking at the arrival of the spring season. April Fool’s Day does have some significant meaning.
Sense of humor makes one laugh and think.
April Fool’s Day in history
There are many legends on the events that led to the observation of April Fool’s Day. It had some remarkable significance in history. Gregorian Calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Until it was introduced, some day between March 25 April 1 had been observed as the New Year Day. Even today, in some Indian calendars, the New Year Day is observed in the month of April. They mark the return of the sun towards north as the beginning of a year.
When the Gregorian Calendar was introduced in Europe the New Year was fixed on the first day of January. This change caused great confusion in Europe. Many people refused to accept this change. There was no proper communication in those days. Hence, many people continued with their New Year celebrations on the first day of April. People who were aware of the change ridiculed others for their ignorance. They were ridiculed as people of backward thinking. Ridiculing others on the first day of April became a tradition in Europe.
April Fool’s Day suggests us to reflect on the realities of life.
My grandma’s story about “the greatest fool”
When I was a small boy my grandma used to tell the story of “the greatest fool”. A certain king was always ridiculing others. Every day he would find out someone and crown him with the title “the greatest fool”. The king appointed a minister in his court to find out the greatest fool. It was the duty of the minister to find out some fool everyday. The minister would bring a fool to the court. The king and the courtiers would play pranks on the fool.
One day the king fell ill. He called the minister in charge of finding fools and told him that he was ill and he might die in a few days. The minister asked the king where the king would go after his death. The king replied him that he was not aware of the place where he would go or what he would be after death. The minister replied, “Your Majesty, I am very sorry. You are facing death. But you are not ready for it”.
Although the minister did not say anything after that, the king understood that he was really a fool. From that day, he stopped ridiculing others.
Another story of a “foolish man”
The Bible tells about a foolish rich man. He was thinking about his selfish enjoyment. He never thought about others. He was earning more and more. He had plenty. He said to himself, "’Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12: 19-21,The Bible RSV)
Easter and April Fool’s Day
Spring blossoms in April with a new vigor, after a dull winter. In the spring, nature wears a fresh green dress. The swallows return from their winter sojourn. The cuckoo sings sweet melodies. April showers tap the earth and wake up the sleeping seeds of life.
April is closely associated with spring and Easter. Spring marks the resurrection of nature. Easter marks the resurrection of spiritual life. Easter lights up the Paschal candle of hope. Resurrection of Jesus fills everyone with hope.
April Fool’s Day gives a significant meaning to life. It is the beginning day of a new life. It is reminder for a life of resurrection. It is an invitation for a changed life of hope and confidence.