Why Do We Celebrate April Fool’s Day?
On April 1st all the comedians come out: practical jokes, hoaxes, tricks and other games are played by children and adults alike. Despite the persistence of this tradition, no one seems to know where or why it originated. Like that salt in your sugar, its origins are puzzling. Many have conjectured various histories about this day on which we glorify the fool. Let’s take a look.
One possible explanation involves confusion surrounding the introduction of a new calendar introduced in 16th century France. Until 1564, what’s known as the Julian calendar was largely accepted. This decreed that the New Year began around April. King Charles IX changed the calendar year to the one we use today, which begins on the 1st of January. The 4–month differential caused quite a stir, to say the least. Those who refused the change or remained ignorant of it became the butt of jokes. In our age of rapid global data transfer, we would expect to be informed within hours of such a large–scale change. Back then, the shifting of dates in the rural countryside where literacy was rare may not have been recognized by many folks for months, perhaps years. Thus, the April’s Fool emerged as the unfortunate person who celebrated New Year’s four months late. Or so the story goes. Other histories have drawn on similar holidays in ancient Rome and India. Hilaria, from which we get the word "hilarious," was a day of Roman festivities thrown in glory of the god, Attis. Today, it’s known less subtly as Roman Laughing Day. The Holi festival in India celebrates spring’s arrival, and people often play tricks on one another.
April Fools in the calendar sense is no longer possible, perhaps. But our gullibility may not have declined much. Last April, there were a number of large–scale commercial hoaxes that seemed to trick the public, if only for a day. To name just a few:
- The popular kids’ martial arts characters, The Power Rangers, managed to launch their own line of high–end perfume.
- The popular film and camera manufacturer developed a way for customers to actually print their own live kittens.
- The Canadian airline Westjet introduced a great new feature to keep their cabins quiet: child–free cabins!
- Google’s latest technology development, the self–driving car, headed to Nascar.
- The BBC reported that the Earth had finally exploded.
These are just some of the pranks to look out for this April Fool’s Day.
Spring Cleaning Tips
Cleaning up your home for spring is an excellent way to get together with family members to make your home a more hygienic, allergy–friendly, and clean place to live. Aside from polishing the furniture, organizing closets, dusting those hard–to–reach places, your heating and cooling systems also require your attention. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the summer months. For further information, get in touch with a professional.
- Replace your batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The first step to home safety is ensuring that your safety devices are in working order and that they are there to help you if and when you need them. Batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide should be replaced every six months. Inspect them at the end of winter.
- Change your AC filter. Air filtration is an important part of your cooling system. It prevents dust, pollen, dander and other allergenic particles from entering your home. It also protects the components of your central air system by preventing the build–up of dust and other materials on motors, compressors, coils and fans. Don’t know how? Give your local air conditioning expert a call.
- Schedule a heating and cooling maintenance plan. Ensuring the comfort level of your home is often as simple as scheduling routine maintenance with a heating and cooling professional. Not only will it help you to avoid any air conditioner breakdowns during the peak heat of the summer, but it will also give you some peace of mind, knowing that your indoor air is being handled by a team of professionals.
- Wash all of your windows. This is a chore, of course, but it makes all the difference when that first warm sun hits your home. Not only will the outdoors appear to be crystal clear, but you may also be able to look closely at any parts of your home that may be leaking air. Your heating and cooling systems are only as good as your home’s ability to keep its temperature. Washing the windows will not only make your home more attractive, but it will also give you a sense of your home’s energy–efficiency.
- Dust vents and fans. If there’s a thin layer of dust on the grilles of your home ductwork, it’s probably time to do something about it. Dust not only irritates the respiratory system, it can also create problems for your heating and cooling system. If you think dust is becoming a problem for your home, call a heating and cooling professional today.