"The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools' Day.
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment."
~Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)~
A popular day, but really only half-day, for traditionally, jokes have to be
played before noon, after which the victim was entitled to turn the tables by
April Fool's gone past,
And you're the biggest fool at last.
April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day occurs annually on April 1. The commonly
accepted origin of April Fool's Day involves changes in the calendar.
At one time, the New Year celebration began on March 25 and ended on April 1.
However, in 1582, King Charles IX adopted the Gregorian calendar and accepted
the beginning of the new year as January 1. Those who refused to acknowledge the
new date or simply forgot received foolish gifts and invitations to nonexistent
British folklore linked April Fool's Day to the town of Gotham, the legendary
town of fools located in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was
traditional in the 13th century for any road that the King travelled over to
become public property. The citizens of Gotham, not wishing to lose their main
road, spread a false story to stop King John from passing through their town.
When the King learned of their deception, he sent a messenger to demand that
they explain their actions. But when the messenger arrived in Gotham he found
the town was full of lunatics who were engaged in foolish activities such as
drowning fish or attempting to cage birds in roofless fences (though, of course,
their foolery was all an act). The King fell for the ruse and declared the town
too foolish to warrant punishment. And ever since then, April Fool's Day has
supposedly commemorated their trickery.
The day Lord Rama killed Ravana in battle and rescued his wife Sita in Lanka
(now Sri Lanka) hence Bijoya (Victory) Day. As described in the Ramayana (one of
the two great Indian epics - the other being the Mahabharata, both being written
in verse) King Ravana, the demon king, abducted Sita the wife of Rama. The
prince of Ajodhya (North India) then marched to the southern tip of India with
an army of monkeys. There at Kanyakumari they built a bridge across the ocean to
Lanka. Everybody helped including squirrels who rolled on the beach and
deposited the sands on the ocean floor. Rams stroked them in affection - hence
the stripes on their backs. After a fierce battle the 10-headed Ravana was
killed on this day. Hence the celebration. In Bengal, we we go to our elders
houses and touch their feet. We embrace people of our own age and wish them
happiness. To our younger generation, we bless them and wish them health and
MOTHERS DAY (second Sunday in May) was born thanks to
Philadelphia citizen Anna Jarvis on May 8, 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson
appointed the second Sunday in May for the holiday.
Jarvis led an eleven-year campaign to have a holiday to honour the memory of her
mother and mothers everywhere. May's second Sunday was chosen because that was
the day Jarvis' mother died on in 1905. The carnation was chosen as the
customary flower because Jarvis' mother's garden was full of them.