April Fool

April 1, 2012 at 8:15 am (Fun) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today is April Fools’ Day.

Many different countries have a day of foolishness around the start of April; perhaps there is something about this time of the year, when winter turns into spring, that lends itself to lighthearted celebrations.

April Fools’ Day

spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both English and French nationalities. April Fools’ Day has since developed into an international fun fest, so to speak, with different nationalities specializing in their own brand of humor at the expense of their friends and families.

April Fools’ Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include sending someone on a “fool’s errand,” looking for things that don’t exist, like a bandersnatch; playing pranks such as switching the sugar and salt; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things (like a trip to Disneyland is happening in their near future – that afternoon perhaps).

I don’t like being teased/fooled. It hurts my heart. It makes me feel foolish, the embarrassing, bad kind of fool – a person who has been tricked/deceived into appearing silly or stupid. I don’t need help feeling stupid.

The fool had a place in history and literature. The popular myth about court fools is that they were simply clowns playing the fool for a laugh. A fool could mimic a king’s stupidity and not be censored for it. S/he spoke the truth, through tomfoolery, that others could not risk their position to reveal. Thus, the fool had a distinct and vital role to play in society.

In Shakespeare‘s King Lear, the only guy that Lear allows to criticize him is the fool.

That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
Will pack when it begins to rain,
And leave thee in the storm.

–The Fool, Act II, scene iv

The professional jester, formerly kept by a person of royal or noble rank for amusement is a different creature than the April Fool. The jester, the court fool could be considered almost holy, they were possessors of an essential goodness and simplicity that meant they were incapable of sin and conduits of the divine. Their folly was wiser than wisdom.

As is the fool as read in the Tarot.

copyright 1984 U. S. Games System, Inc.
Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck; Ills. by Mary Hanson-Roberts.

The Fool is the first card in the Major Arcana within a Tarot deck. S/he is a character beginning a journey. A fool, in that, s/he is trusting, naive, and unafraid. S/he is a babe, starting out, innocent and optimistic. S/he is a mystic, a dreamer, a seeker of knowledge and heedless to the meddlers of the world. S/he stands at the crossroads trusting in fate or deity for protection.

S/he is unafraid of taking risks and trusting strangers.

S/he fears not becoming the April Fool.

Click on the banner, above, to read all about the greatest April Fools’ pranks of all time.

My favourites are:

Consider yourself warned. Be vigilant. Today is April Fools’ Day, a day when everyone is encouraged to pull pranks on loved ones, co-workers, and casual acquaintances.

I plan to spend the day in bed!


1 Comment

  1. Kathy said,

    Thank you for sharing this background info about April Fools Day, Gigi. I don’t like appearing the fool either…I wonder who might not mind it? It’s fun to play the joke, but not so fun to be on the receiving end. Thought of playing a joke on my husband today, but he’s so tentative with the approaching knee surgery that I thought it would be in bad taste. Will now pause to read some of the “greatest.”

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