According to legend, in "days of yore", it was literally the day of the fool. You see, for one day a year, all the poor souls locked up in insane asylums were let loose on the streets for one day only.

Ok, we think. Let out to see the world for once, let out for their health and hopeful cure, right? Wrong.

Let out for the amusement of the "normal" "well-adjusted" folks.

It was like a carnival and a parade and everything else, all in one. It was a joyous occasion to watch the "antics" of the poor "fools". It was supposidly a very festive occasion.

For everyone but the poor patients of course.

story first found in the wiccan book of days

It's an interesting fact that in Spain, the traditional equivalent of April Fools' Day is celebrated on December 28th. On this date, called the Innocent Saints' Day, the Catholic Church remembers the children killed by order of King Herod (see New Testament for details).

Since the Middle Ages this date has somehow became a sort of Fools' Day. A traditional trick is sticking a paper man to someone's back and still today, every Dec 28th, Spanish newspapers and TV will play their pranks.

Fun being made of the slaughtering of children could seem strange or inappropriate, but the blend of devout religiosity and black humor is actually very distinctive of the Spanish character.

A funny thing is that we Spaniards are mostly oblivious to the fact that on April 1st we must not believe everything we read and watch from foreign media. This leads to embarrassing mistakes like Spanish computer magazines reporting the launch of the revolutionary A-migadrive.

Name of the book telling the story of Bryce Courtenay's son, Damon. The day he died.

Damon died from AIDS related complications, he was 24. He had contracted the HIV virus through blood transfusions for haemophilia when he was a kid. Unfortunately Damon lived in time when not much was know about HIV/AIDS, except that it was a disease of gay men.

A wholly beautiful book that lets life speak for itself: boy with a big picture mind, but trapped in body that depends on others. Painful and heartbreaking, with gentle humour. It tells of how Damon and his family cope with his terminal disease and the discrimination that came from ignorance of the disease.

Bryce Courtney, made famous by The Power of One, which got made into a movie.

Little old Lady to Judge--
"Your honor, I am 86 years old. So here I am, sitting there on the porch on a warm spring evening, when a young man comes creeping up on the porch and sits beside me. He starts to rub my thigh, and it feels good, Your Honor. So I don't stop him, and he begins to rub my old breasts, Your Honor. Why, Your Honor, I haven't felt that good in years! So I just spread my old legs and say to him, "Take me, young man, Take me!" That's when he yelled, "April Fool!" and that's when I shot the son of a bitch."

Before 1562, the Christian calendar began each year on April 1.

In 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year starting from that date began on 1st January.

Nevertheless, some people, who hadn't heard about the change in the date, or didn't believe in it, continued to celebrate New Year's Day on 1st April.

Others took advantage of this and played tricks on them calling them "April fools." They used to send them on a "fool's errand" or make them believe that something false was true.

Today, 1st April is called in France "Poisson d'Avril." In this day, French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When they discover the trick, pranksters start to yell "Poisson d'Avril!" (April Fish!).

Elsewhere, it is also called All Fools' Day.

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