THE HISTORY of APRIL FOOL’S DAY
April Fools’ Day is an annual celebration in some European and Western countries commemorated on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes often expose their prank by shouting “April fool” at the unfortunate victim(s). Some newspapers, magazines and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in smaller letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in any country.
Easter is finally here! Children and parents all around the world are excited to celebrate this upcoming international holiday with different traditions from their native cultures. An ambient of festivity, joy and color is surrounding the city.
Baskets with chocolate eggs, stuff animal bunnies, and peeps are currently being exhibited and advertised in the isles of local American supermarkets. Is not a revelation that the U.S. and other countries whom predecessor relays in German colonies are getting ready to celebrate the arrival of the “Easter Bunny”.
Presently, the exact origins of the Easter Bunny has not been identify, although some historians relate this tale with the connection of the birth of baby bunnies at the beginning of spring season. In the other hand, the rest of the world who happened to have Christian beliefs celebrate Easter week as a commemoration of the Passion of Christ. Easter Sunday specifically rejoices the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
In any case, whether Easter is a religious holiday, a seasonal festivity, a commercialized celebration, or all of the above; Easter is indeed a holiday that brings people together from all over the world in a positive way. The following are examples of countries that celebrate Easter in a particular and creative way:
“Sprinkling” is a popular Hungarian Easter Monday tradition, in which boys playfully sprinkle perfume, cologne or water over young women’s head, and ask for a kiss.
People used to believe that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.
One of the biggest Easter celebrations takes place in Seville, where 52 different religious brotherhoods parade through the streets manifesting the crucifixion, with thousands watching the daily processions of marching bands and decorated candlelit floats heaving with Baroque statues illustrating the Easter story.
Easter in Sweden sounds a lot like Halloween, with the children dressing up as Easter witches wearing long skirts, colorful headscarves and painted red cheeks. Going from home to home in their neighborhoods trading paintings and drawings in the hope of receiving chocolate eggs.
On Easter Monday there’s a tradition in which men spank women with handmade whips made of willow and decorated with ribbons. According to legend, the willow is the first tree to bloom in the spring, so the branches are supposed to transfer the tree’s vitality and fertility to the women.
This is meant to be playful spanking all in good fun and not to cause pain.
A huge, decorated wagon is dragged through the streets by white oxen until it reaches the cathedral, and when Gloria is sung inside the cathedral Archbishop sends a dove-shaped rocket into the cart, igniting a large fireworks display.
Called Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart), this is followed by a parade in medieval costumes.
On Good Friday, the locals celebrate by flying homemade kites, eating codfish cakes and hot cross buns.
The tradition is said to have begun when a local teacher from the British Army had difficulty explaining Christ’s ascension to Heaven to his Sunday school class. He made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to illustrate the Ascension.
By Maria A. Gutierrez