Today is the first day of April, and we have reached the point of our calendar year when many people begin adjusting to the gradual shifting of the seasons. This date, of course, has its’ own legacy of lore, conventions, and traditions. There was a time in this society when many hours of effort, thought, and expense have been invested in accomplishing elaborate ‘practical jokes.’ Often these tricks were performed for the fun of it; or for a gratuitous laugh, at someone else’s expense; but many times these schemes were done for no other reason than because it was expected behavior on ‘April Fool’s Day.’ And while it is less frequent in today’s society, it nevertheless remains a tradition.
Often these attempts to deceive one another are verbal; and are meant only to have fun. Still it allows for a playful, and ‘harmless,’ environment where providing unclear, or misleading information, is part of the ‘game.’ Sometimes however, these ‘tricks’ have unpleasant, physical, aspects to them; which can become destructive, or dangerous. These ideas should be well-considered before honoring this pastime. This is not a criticism of tradition, merely a call to remain mindful when participating in the April Fool’s Day fun.
However, on this April first, Easter Sunday is also being observed; and it is somewhat unusual for the holiday to fall so early in the month. As it is a long honored religious celebration; the holiday has many rich traditions of its own. Unlike today’s more frivolous pastime; Easter’s legacy holds a strong and vibrant heritage which embodies strongly held values, and beliefs. This legacy of faith has been maintained, in part, by a long oral history. The practices and conventions of Easter serve to reinforce the bond among believers; both with each other, and with their faith. This cultural link has a vastly greater importance , and significance, for those who observe it; and, in fact, even has some impact on those who do not.
Both traditions rely, in part, on the effective use of words to deliver the ideas, and mental images intended to relay the desired information necessary to support, and advance their goals. One pastime furthers lighthearted, and sometimes dubious, practices and objectives. While the other cultural observance seeks a more substantial outcome. The chance occurrence these two radically different traditions, on the same day; gives us an opportunity to contrast different ways words help build, and support, cultural experiences. It also indicates that people may enshrine meaningful, or meaningless, ideas in our collective cultural conscience with equal success.
As always, we have control over what ideas (or words) we incorporate, or which concepts we discard, as a people; however, that control is often not intentionally exercised, or realized. Being thoughtful about what ideas and values, we hold and support; will, over time, create, maintain, or destroy the traditions we carry forward. I hope you do enjoy this day; whichever traditions (if any) you choose to observe. By the way, does anyone know a good April Fool’s Day prank to pull off, on Easter Sunday?
J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc