All Fool's Day!!
April Fool's day has been a seasonal companion for all my years. It was especially troublesome in school since as kids we are somewhat more relentless in our pursuit of foolishness than adults. Pranks were relatively harmless extending to stacked lockers or some gooey anomaly spread across the seat of a chair. We always spoke of swapping out the salt and sugar but never got around to it. One year my own gym teacher sent me on an errand to find a 'bucket of steam and a sky hook'. Needless to say I looked high and low without finding either item. It so happens that I consider April 1 the 'hatch' date of every ones favorite parrot Luka!
I went to task and did a bit of research on this subject. All Fool's day has its roots in an innocent and very unscientific occurrence. It seems that in 16th century France the New Years Holiday was celebrated on the first of April. When Pope Gregory introduced the Gregorian calendar in 1562 the holiday was moved from April 1st to January 1st. There was really no alternative but to do this since the calendar and the seasons were rather badly out of alignment. True to human nature not everyone got the message right away owing no doubt to a serious lack of mass communication! The farther away one resides from a center of population the less likely you were to have current information.
The day also has some small association with the vernal equinox and the way nature fools with the weather at this time. Additional associations involve the Roman Holiday of Hilaria (I think this might be the root of hilarious) and also the 'Ides of March'. Julius Caesar met his end (he was stabbed 23 times) at the hands of numerous conspiratorial fools who in turn were hunted down and met their own ends as well.
So people being what they are began taunting those less informed. If you tried to celebrate the New Year on April 1st you were an April Fool! You were clueless, a gullible rube, and eventually that sentiment led to harmless jokes and pranks. It would not be surprising to me if this were the first incarnation of the 'cool' club.
So there you have it. Mark Twain says: "The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."