An odd celebration

March 27th, 2019

April Fool’s! Hearing those words on the first day of April usually means that someone has been the victim of a prank or deception. How did this odd celebration begin? No one knows for certain, but there are some very interesting speculations.

One speculation is that when The Council of Trent called for a switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1563, some people in France refused to recognize the change of the New Year from April 1 to January 1. These folks had pranks played on them and were called “April fish,” which was an easily caught young fish and referred to a person who was gullible. Another speculation is that April Fool’s Day was linked to the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere when Mother Nature fooled people with uncertain weather.

The celebration of the day eventually spread to Britain and Scotland in the eighteenth century and involved “hunting the gowk,” which meant people were sent on phony errands. The word gowk was a word for the cuckoo bird (symbolizing a fool). Also, pranks were played on people by pinning tails and “kick me” signs on them.

Elaborate hoaxes have been played in modern times as well, such as when Taco Bell claimed to have purchased the Liberty Bell with the intention of renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell.

Seek wisdom instead

Regardless of its unknown origins and peculiar celebrations, April 1 is a day when foolishness, lies and deception are often acceptable. The foolishness is mostly fun and comical, but sometimes it can be harmful and humiliating. Scripture provides numerous warnings of the detriment caused by foolish actions and foolish thinking. Foolishness is defined as a lack of wisdom and sound judgment. Proverbs 2:6 reminds us that wisdom comes from God. We are all susceptible to foolish thinking and actions, so we should ask God daily for wisdom to live a life that glorifies Christ and edifies others.

Question of the day: When have you recently done something foolish?
Focal scriptures: Psalm 38:4-6; Matthew 25:1-13; Romans 1:20-23

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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