Right around now, much of the team here at Comfort Colors is scheming to figure out how to make some in-person t-shirt deliveries to our customers in wonderful places like Key West and San Diego. The reasoning behind the scheming is that Mother Nature is playing an April Fools Day joke on the good people of Vermont and New England. Parts of Vermont had below zero temperature readings this morning. Parts of Massachusetts were just blasted by gale force winds and temperatures in the 20s. We know it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature, but we do wonder where she got the idea to torture us like this.
So we thought we’d look into the origins of April Fools Day. While we absolutely love the notion of socially sanctioned silliness, it’s always fun to know where things come from. As it turns out, the beginnings of this wonderful day are a mystery, but there are a couple theories.
- In 1582, the Pope decreed a new calendar: all of Christian Europe switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The new Gregorian calendar moved New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1. Julian calendar fans kept right on celebrating the April date. Boom!
- The ancient Romans had a festival called Hilaria, a day of merriment and rejoicing right around the Vernal Equinox (end of March). News.discovery.com tells us that “The modern equivalent of Hilaria is called Roman Laughing Day.”
- In India and Nepal, people celebrate Holi, an ancient Hindu festival of colors, frolicking, and love. People gather the night before Holi to celebrate and sing around bonfires. Here’s how Wikipedia describes the fun: “The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where everyone plays, chases and colours each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance.”
- In the Middle Ages, the holiday was celebrated during the Feast of Annunciation, a late March holiday that marks Angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary telling her she is expecting.
Because the holiday is all about pranks and jokes, many have fabricated its origins. But being a company dedicated to color and fun, we’re considering going with the Holi option.