April Fool’s Day, Its True Story

April Fool’s Day, Its True Story

In some countries, April Fools' Day is traditionally celebrated, a date on which jokes are made, special editions of fiascos in the news channels

But what is the true origin?

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In Latin America and Spain, it is a tradition to celebrate April Fool's Day, as an opportunity to play pranks on our loved ones, friends, and relatives. But the origin carries historical data that, far from having a tinge of joy, reflect the cruelty of the fate of some children by the decision of a ruthless and ambitious king.

It all begins with the announcement of the wise men from the East, the Magi, who make the journey in search of the Messiah who would be born in December, guided by a great star, the star of Bethlehem, and who would become the King of Israel.

So, Herod the Great, it is that time, King of Judea by mandate of the Roman Empire, to preserve his power, is dedicated to organizing a search for that baby to kill him and thus eliminating the threat that would end his reign.

Once Herod realizes that the Magi find the child and give him gifts and venerate him, then he decides to order the terrible and painful slaughter of all the children born in those days in Bethlehem, to be sure that the announced Messiah would be among them and by assassinating him he would preserve his status as King. This story dates back more than 1,500 years. This is how many innocent people die, which gives the name to this day.

For the Middle Ages, this date of December 28, chosen for being the eighth day after the birth of Jesus, coincided with a celebration called the "Feast of Fools", probably an adaptation of the "Saturnalia" of the Roman Empire, in which there was a mockery of the ecclesiastical authorities, and satires and jokes were generated about the abbots and abbesses of that time, personified by the monks and nuns who did not have that role of authority.

This is how the date acquires that burlesque and happy tone that lasts until today.

The "Saturnalia", whose name came from the planet Saturn, originated to alleviate feelings of defeat in the war waged on Lake Trasimeno with the Carthaginians. Thus, the Roman authorities wanted to transform the feelings of the settlers towards jubilation and happiness. This is how large floral arrangements were placed in the houses, also with plants and light elements with torches and candles used, as a symbol of welcome to a new era, and gifts were exchanged.

Gradually these pagan festivals were assimilated into Christian celebrations, giving way to what is commemorated today with the arrival of the new year.

These historical data of April Fool's Day could well be a reflection of how we can transform a situation that initially causes us anxiety or discomfort, into an opportunity to reflect and give it a different intention in a positive way, to maintain emotional stability and well-being.

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