April Sunshine and Showers
Along with some bright sunshine, the beginning of the month was cheered by April Fools’ Day.
I made a slight, but successful effort this year and swapped my son’s cup of tea for a cup of cold porridge. This caused entertainment for the rest of the morning as he attempted exact revenge. April Fools’ Day is celebrated around the world. The earliest possible mention of it is in Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales in 1386.
A scholar of Anglo-Saxon history once told me that he believed the UK origins of April Fools’ Day are ancient because it has to end at midday. In UK tradition, anyone who creates a prank after midday is the fool themselves instead of the other way round. This is interesting because the Celtic day ended at noon . . . [ms-protect-content] and therefore the Fools’ Day would have finished naturally simply because the day had ended. However, this is speculation and there are many ideas that link it to other ancient vivacious festivals like Holi.
Spring seems to make people wake up determined to have fun.
The important thing about April Fools’ Day is, of course, the pranks. These range from putting salt into sugar bowls, `kick-me’ labels on backs, to famous news broadcasts seemingly done in earnest. The most famous was the BBC Spaghetti documentary in 1957, which is hard to believe now, but in 1957, Spaghetti was a relatively exotic food in Britain and most people really did not know how it was produced. You can watch the documentary here. . .
However, the fooling is behind us now and it’s sunny so I can now head out on bicycle again and come back without looking like I’d been dunked in a pond. It was certainly no joke riding a bike on our narrow roads in the wet with cars splashing through muddy, greasy puddles beside you. By the way, it’s Shakespeare’s birthday soon (23rd April) and I have planned my own celebration of the world’s greatest writers. I look forward to talking about all the riches he gave us another week.