April Fools' Day – It is MY Day
April Fools’ Day celebrated on 1st of April each year has been celebrated several centuries by generations across several cultures.
For some, April Fools’ Day is tied to the vernal equinox that takes place on 20th or 21st March and signals the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the time when Mother Nature ‘fools’ her children with her otherwise unpredictable weather by changing her colour – from wintery greyish-white to greenish-yellow.
Others have linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele.
Strange is the connection between this Roman Hilaria and Indian Holi. Both involve people dressing up in disguises and merry-making fellow beings. Hilaria is said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris and Seth while Holi is inspired by the Hindu legends of the Holika, Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada and the Radha, Krishna,Gopi.
And the most commonly heard origins of April Fools’ Day is that of 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.
With this departure from the Julian Calendar, which like the Hindu calendar, celebrated the new year in the spring equinox around 1st April, to the Gregorian calendar, the new year celebration too moved to 1st January.
And the ‘Fools’ who were slow to ‘receive’ or ‘process’ this news of departure of the New Year celebration from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian calendar became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.”
CUT TO 1st April 2021
Sitting in the cabin looking at this Steve Jobs photo frame, the shrill voice comes whizzing into my eardrums: “It is FINE to be ‘a FOOL’…for it takes a lot of courage to be FOOLISH…BUT it is NOT FINE ‘to FOOL’ oneself”. This is one of the many ‘one-liner discourses’ of my Maa – a short heighted, skinny bodied, dark skinned lady with steely determination.
Like any convent educated neo-learner, I would never even try to apply my cognitive abilities to comprehend what she exactly meant until someone as iconic as Steven Jobs, the late Apple co-founder (also being called the Thomas Edison of our time) voiced out in his 2005 commencement speech for the 114th graduating class at Stanford University, with this concluding remark: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
These heart-rendering words of Steve Jobs appeals to every progressive entity – human being or organizations – to keep their learning agility as curious as a child that isn’t yet spoiled by a rigid mindset of the Good and the Bad; the Right and the Wrong; the Intelligent and the Foolish!
About the Author
Prof. (Dr) Shalini Verma ‘LIFOHOLIC’ is a communication professor-consultant, a body language expert, an author-columnist, actor-model-screenwriter and Co-founder – Books33 & SamvaadShaalaa. Dr. Verma hails from Motihari, East Champaran, the LAND OF SATYAGRAHA (Satyagrah is a Sanskrit word which means“insistence on truth”), in Bihar. She may be reached at: [email protected]
April Fools' Day – Today is MY Day…Tomorrow is MY Day…Today, Tomorrow…Everyday is My Day – April Fools’ Day - Lifelong Learners’ Day.
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