Sunday, April 1, 2018

Do Not Be a Gowk

April 1, 2018, is both Easter Sunday and April Fool's Day--the first time this curious juxtaposition has occurred since 1945.

The origin of Easter celebrations is well known, but the background of April Fool's (or All Fools) Day is more confused. It may have sprung from the Roman Cerealia, held at the beginning of April, commemorating the rather nasty trick played on Proserpina and her mother, Ceres, by Pluto.

In India, tricks are played as part of the March 31 Holi Festival. In France, an April fool is un poisson d'avril--literally, a poor fish. And in Scotland, a person successfully gulled this day is a gowk, or cuckoo.

Be on guard. Don't be a gowk. And Happy Easter.

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