How To Not Be The Gawking Fool On April Fools Day

Every expression, holiday, ritual, and superstition has an origin, meaning that there is something that took place that made some degree of sense. Over time many practices lose their original meaning, including the day we know as April Fools Day.

The Meaning of April Fools Day

The New Years has not always been January first, no in earlier times it was more around the time of the spring equinox, celebrated with the octave of the feasts on April 1st. What happened? Christianity came along, and for whatever reason the new year was moved to January 1st.

Change can be daunting, and sometimes we all can forget. So what happened to those individuals back in those earlier days if they forgot? The mock celebration took place, with pretend gifts and fake ceremonies. Ah what we’ve done to the fool who forgot and became the April Fool.

Since those times the origin and meaning of April fools day has been forgotten, but for some reason this taunting and teasing practice has continued on. In Scotland it has been called “Hunting the Gawk”, with the word gawk meaning a fool or simple minded individual. Many a man has been sent on a wild goose chase, delivering a letter that was thought to be of great importance, only to be misdirected to yet another person in this day of trickery.

April Fools – Intuitively Speaking

These days our April Fools pranks are typically all for the fun of it, not to be demeaning but instead giving a little break from the stresses of everyday life. Back in the early days, the days of the Gawk, the April Fool, those were some darker days, and leaders made sure to encourage and allow the hard worked poor working classes their celebrations, days of ceremony, and a moment of superiority found in mocking some poor “gawking” soul. How do we keep from being the gawk on April Fools Day? All we can say is keep your wits about you, and keep your dates and celebrations in the right day of the year.

How To Not Be The Gawking Fool On April Fools Day by Dennis Finn. Dennis is a featured contributor to, sharing his love of trivia and tradition, turning learning into fun and games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *