Posted in Daily, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World, Work

To Believe It or Not !!

” “Coca-Cola is launching three flavours of its Zero Sugar brand featuring avocado, sourdough and charcoal.”

Imagine the consequences of the taste buds and the senses after an episode of experimentation with these flavours. And here’s how the flavours were described.
• Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Avocado – Forget smashed or blended, this new flavour infuses the subtle, creamy undertones of amazing avocado with that great Coca-Cola Zero Sugar taste. Both delicious and nutritious, this gorgeously green pick-me-up is guaranteed to make your socials grow.
• Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Charcoal – Cleanse, refresh and revitalise with a Zero Sugar supercharge. Loaded with activated charcoal, creating a smooth and rich flavour, this miracle in-a-can pairs-perfectly with your favourite Instagram filter.
• Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Sourdough – Crafted with care, superbly sour and bursting with fermented flavours. Packed with crumbly goodness – so you can start the day in the right way with a mouth-wateringly good snap of this wild-yeast infused Zero Sugar treat. “

For the readers of the above news on the Daily Mirror online version last year, had resulted in a frenzy of whether this was true or was it an “All Fools Day Prank”. Being mixed with the “true news” of the society, food, travel and living sections; it wasn’t easy to ascertain whether one was going to really taste avocado, sourdough or charcoal in their drink.

“The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool’s Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.” (Poor Robin’s Almanac, 1790)

One of the days dreaded the most, especially at work, school or neighbourhood, is the first day of April, where the day is pretty confusing for each hour goes by the wait of “being pranked”. Each day this year, from social media to official meetings, one is always second guessing everything. As for pranksters, its’ a day of freedom, fun and revelry.

Yet when the prank is actually the truth, one may feel a bit razzed. For instance people who celebrate their birthdays on April First have always been questioned, even though they are speaking the truth. Remember the headlines that state “the African continent can split into two” after an enormous crack appears. Well, it’s actually true for a large crack, several miles long and growing accompanied with seismic activity had appeared in south-western Kenya causing the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse. Researchers have attributed this to activity between the tectonic plates in Earth’s crust and upper mantle. Today the rift still continues to grow and an expert says it’s evidence that the continent is breaking apart.

Yet news like this, practical jokes and hoaxes especially on All Fools’ Day or April Fools’ Day spreads mass confusion (which was or wasn’t the purpose all along). Why this particular day ? The origin behind this day is quite interesting, with various versions and tales trending around the world.

As per Geoffrey’s Chaucer’s “The Cantebury Tales”, New Years’ Day used to be celebrated around April. With the Gregorian Calendar (1582, France) being introduced by Pope Gregory XIII with January 1st to be celebrated as “New Years’ Day.” For those who refused to support this,; they were mocked and sent on fools’ errands on April 1st.

Another disputed association between April 1st and foolishness also comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1392). In the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale”, a vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox on “Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two.” While readers apparently understood this line to mean “32 March”, i.e. April 1, it wasn’t clear if this was the correct inference. The scholars of today, believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, “Syn March was gon.” Then the passage would have originally meant 32 days after March ( i.e. May 2nd), the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia (1381).

French poet Eloy d’Amerval (1508) had referred to “a poisson d’avril” (April fool, literally “Fish of April”), possibly the first reference to the celebration in France. In France, January 1st as New Year’s Day became common only by the mid-16th century and the date was adopted officially as per the Edict of Roussillon (1564). Likewise Flemish poet Eduard de Dene (1539) had written about a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1st.

The origin of April Fools’ Day is different in Netherlands, where it’s often attributed to the Dutch victory at Brielle in 1572, where the Spanish Duke Álvarez de Toledo was defeated (“Op 1 april verloor Alva zijn bril”). Another citation in history was on April 1, 1698 when several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”.

Few authors have expressed the belief that the origins of April Fool’s Day may go back to the Genesis flood narrative, although this hasn’t been verified by Biblical scholars or historians. As written by the Harper’s Weekly cartoonist Bertha R. McDonald (1908), ” Authorities gravely back with it to the time of Noah and the ark. The London Public Advertiser of March 13, 1769, printed: “The mistake of Noah sending the dove out of the ark before the water had abated, on the first day of April, and to perpetuate the memory of this deliverance it was thought proper, whoever forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by sending them upon some sleeveless errand similar to that ineffectual message upon which the bird was sent by the patriarch”.

Festivals celebrating a day for pranks has been there since the early Roman times, where “Hilaria” a Roman festival was celebrated. As the name suggests, it was a festival of laughter and hilarity where people would dress up in disguises to fool others and enjoy the spring season. Various countries have different ways to celebrate this day. While across Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, people celebrate April Fools’ Day by trying to stick a paper fish on someone (without being noticed); in Iran jokes were played on each other on ‘Sizdah Be-dar'(the 13th day of the Persian New Year, falling on April 1st or 2nd). On the other hand Spanish speaking countries celebrate similar festivity on the ‘Day of the Holy Innocents’ (December 28 or 29) and in Denmark, this day is celebrated on’Maj-Kat’, which means ‘May-cat’ (May 1st).

Either way the chance to play practical jokes and hoaxes on this day has promoted this trend to continue. For there’s nothing more enriching than genuine innocent fun and laughter for the day.

“The maple syrup’s full of ants.
A mouse is creeping on the shelf.
Is that a spider on your back?
I ate the whole pie by myself.
The kitchen sink just overflowed.
A flash flood washed away the school.
I threw your blanket in the trash.
I never lie—I—
April Fool!” (Myra Cohn Livingstone)