April Fools’ Day is getting closer so this is a warning. Of course, a stamp warning.
April Fools’ Day
April Fools’ Day is not an official holiday but rather a good excuse to make pranks and jokes. As always you should be considerate and make pranks only to people that will laugh together with you. Basically, don’t be mean to anybody.
How it all started?
There are numerous theories how celebrating April 1 really started and there are even some that date back to an ancient Hindu festival called Holi and Hilaria which was celebrated in the ancient Rome. Besides these two there is one pretty obvious reason to celebrate and that is changing the season, obvious, but still pretty unpredictable weather change at the end of March and the start of April.
There are also many other local and national explanations for this celebration, but I will go with two most popular ones.
April Fools’ Day in 1392
One of these two theories dated back in 1392.
“Some believe the first association between April 1 and playing tricks can be found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales from 1392. In “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” a fox tricks proud rooster Chauntecleer on syn March bigan thritty dayes and two.
Although Chaucer probably meant 32 days after March (May 2), many readers apparently misunderstood the line to mean March 32 — or April 1.” (https://wonderopolis.org)
April Fools’ Day in 1582
The second one seems more likely to be true. During the history, humanity experienced more calendar-related issues that we would expect. In the 16th century, few important calendar-related changes happened.
First one was adopting the Edict of Roussillon in France in 1564. This edict decreed that the new year starts with January 1. The second important event happened in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the use of a new calendar, known as the Gregorian calendar. This calendar also assumed that the New Year’s Day is meant to be celebrated on January 1.
People usually accept changes slowly and, in these days, the information hasn’t circled around the World so fast. That was the main reason that many people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1. Some of those who accepted the new calendar used to make fun of these “fools”, pranked and mocked them. I guess that usually wasn’t with good intentions.
April Fools’ Day Today (and on stamps)
Fortunately, today this is just one more day when we can do something different than usual. We’ll make pranks like “Darling, I left you and went with my lover” or “I won the lottery, I’m leaving you and the kids” or “The war is over” or maybe more gentle ones 😊
It wouldn’t be fair if there wasn’t any, at least somehow related, April Fool’s Day stamps. The Royal Mail jumped in here with the 10-set stamp series “Comedy Greats” issued on April 1, 2015. As you could guess from its’ name, this is a tribute to 10 famous British comedians and comedy groups (like Monty Python). We already mentioned this stamp series in this Monty Python-related article.
Copyright© 2015 Royal Mail. All Rights Reserved.
UK – Comedy Greats
From left to right
1st row – Spike Milligan, The Two Ronnies, Billy Connolly, Morecambe and Wise, Norman Wisdom
2nd row – Lenny Henry, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Monty Python, French and Saunders, Victoria Wood
April 1 is close. If you decide to make any pranks or jokes, try to stay polite and nice to others. It’s not only important that you can laugh at them but they all of you can laugh at the prank together. Have fun!
Continue reading: Comics on Stamps: Marvel & DC Superheroes
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