Tag Archives: April Fools Day

Put on your best dressed foolishness & come out to play!

No candy, no cards, no dinner or presents, hell there aren’t even any cards.   As I was shopping for thank you cards this weekend, navigating between Passover, Easter and Mother’s Day cards, I realized there aren’t any April Fool’s Day cards. Am I wrong here, or is April Fools Day (a holiday that stems back thousands of years to the celebration of the true new year) the only under exploited holiday of the year?! april fools day We spend more commercial attention on Sweetest Day and National Pencil Day (March 30) than we do on the spring time celebration of the true new year.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a fan of over commercialization.  I think the two month preview that every grocery, convenient and department store gives to the next best holiday before the last one even ends has really run its course.  I believe some of us have actually forgotten the turn of natures season and judge the time of year by whether its the 4rth of July, Halloween, Thanks Giving, Chrismas, New Year, Valentines Day, St. Patty’s Day, Easter, Mothers Day or 4rth of July chatchkas stocked on the store shelves. I just can’t believe some marketer hasn’t identified the looming vacuum and assumed the responsibility to make it there own.

So not one to miss a great opportunity, I’ve decided to make it my own.  Frankly, I believe April Fools Day has gotten a bad rap.  It’s considered an after thought, pranksters holiday left for most of us to completely forget about it until becoming the unwitting victim of a cruel joke.  I advocate we change that and harken back to the original roots of pagans celebrating the spring equinox, ending the death of the old year (winter) and welcoming the birth of a new year (spring).

Seriously, April 1st is a day to put on your best dressed foolishness on and come out to play.  Something made all the more sweet by its virtual neglect by popular attention.  Its the spring time combination of Halloween, Mardi Gras and New Year rolled into the one time of year you can throw caution to the wind and behave complete and utterly foolish.  April Fool’s is a carefree embrace of the infinite potential the new year holds.  Its a creators holiday, a chance to try something new with total permission to fail and at worst appear a fool on a day dedicated to it.  It is a national holiday for entrepreneurs and risk takers.  It’s the essence of being able to do whatever out of this world thing your mind and motivation can come up with and have total permission to have fun, make fun and be a fool.

Join me in embracing the natural start to the new year and celebrating the only unexploited Hallmark holiday of the year.  Enjoy the jokes and pranks, take a chance, create something, act foolish with no fear because today is the day of new beginnings and challenging the limits of popular expectations.

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Happy New Year!

Spring.  There’s just simply nothing like it.  Marked not only by the weather getting warmer, the sun staying up later and the new birth of all things great and small, spring is actually the start to the natural new year.  It wasn’t until some time ago that this changed to become what we now know as April Fools Day.  Check out more on the history from a previous post of Jerry Wilson’s great recount, Happy April Fools Day!

For me, April Fools Day is more than some under exploited Hallmark holiday meant for playing pranks on friends and family.  It’s the Halloween and Mardi Gras of the spring all wrapped up into one Foolish celebration.  It’s a day when we have permission to start a new year as fresh as spring, as happy as kids playing in the park and as touching as new life to be.  We work hard all year long to take care of our jobs, our families and our responsibilities in this new modern age, and somewhere in there, we lose sight of what it all means to just be.  To just be who we are, to just be fun and foolish, to just be a merry band of revelers celebrating the passion, joy and foolishness of life.

So I say what better way to celebrate the most extraordinary holiday of the year than to put your best dressed foolishness on and come out to play!  April Fools Day is no joke!  Its a time for you to be you in all its unserious glory.  No suits, no deadlines, no busy hectic errands.  Take a moment to let all that go just for a day, while you come out to laugh and play.

For me, a serial entrepreneur, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to get all my clients, collaborators, friends and family together to launch an inspiring new venture that transforms thought into reality.  Nvision Performance Solutions officially launches tonight premiering its Cinema Reel and latest artist’s, Jean P the MC, video at the Arena Grand Movie Theater in Columbus, OH.  The event is going to be like a masquerade ball for new media, colorful, invigorating, playful and inspiring.  Video media is so pervasive in today’s world, but the gap between the masses of amateur posts and the elite few with studio budgets is growing wider by the day leaving most of us to still wear by gone fashions, wondering how can we ever afford to compete with the celebrities’ newest digs.  Nvision solves that empowering clients to put on their best dressed formals or foolishness at an affordable investment so that when you are ready to come out to play, the world watches, clicks and pays… attention to what your inspiration is!

So if you’re with me, stand up and declare April Fools Day, the start to the real new year, as the day you give yourself permission to put your inhibitions aside, take a risk, try something you’d never thought you’d do, become a spark, start some trouble, make something extraordinary happen whatever the outcome could be.  Who knows who or what you might inspire to come to be?  What’s the worst that could happen?  You take a chance and look like a fool?  Well here’s to all those naysayers that would try to keep you down, pinned in a cubicle and playing it safe.  You can’t get to the other shore if you don’t leave the dock.  As many a great innovator will tell you, bucking the trend and going against the crowd is never easy, but you won’t be the first to cause others to laugh, hopefully you won’t be the last.  In fact, you’ll be in elite company for making the world a more exciting space to dream and less serious place to be.

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Happy April Fools Day!

Unlike most of the other nonfoolish holidays, the history of April Fool’s Day, sometimes called All Fool’s Day, is not totally clear. It is not like Halloween, where despite an interesting history, most people just put on Halloween costumes, get candy, and leave it at that. There really wasn’t a “first April Fool’s Day” that can be pinpointed on the calendar. Some believe it sort of evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring.

The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25. The celebration culminated on April 1. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year’s Day was moved to January 1.

However, communications being what they were in the days when news traveled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1. These backward folk were labeled as “fools” by the general populace. They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on “fools errands” or were made the butt of other practical jokes.

This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of April. The tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and French. April Fool’s Day thus 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.

In Scotland, for example, April Fool’s Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. The origin of the “kick me” sign can be traced to this observance.

Mexico’s counterpart of April Fool’s Day is actually observed on December 28. Originally, the day was a sad remembrance of the slaughter of the innocent children by King Herod. It eventually evolved into a lighter commemoration involving pranks and trickery.

Pranks performed on April Fool’s Day range from the simple, (such as saying, “Your shoe’s untied, or I accidentally stepped on your glasses!), to the elaborate. Setting a roommate’s alarm clock back an hour is a common gag. Whatever the prank, the trickster usually ends it by yelling to his victim, “April Fool!”

Practical jokes are a common practice on April Fool’s Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool’s Day was a fairly detailed documentary about “spaghetti farmers” and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.

April Fool’s Day is a “for-fun-only” observance. Nobody is expected to buy gifts or to take their “significant other” out to eat in a fancy restaurant. Nobody gets off work or school. It’s simply a fun little holiday, but a holiday on which one must remain forever vigilant, for he may be the next April Fool!

Copyright © 2008 by Jerry Wilson. Used with Permission.
Also available on the Web at www.wilstar.com

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