foolin’ you

If you’re asking  from “whence proceeds the custom of making April Fools?” today then you’re in good company. Old, dead, and long gone company but good company. That very question was posed by a correspondent in 1708 to the British magazine Apollo.

washing machineyeah that’s me in a washing machine…

Here’s the thing: no one can pinpoint whence the custom began. Historians are in a quandary about this. And we are not used to be in quandaries. I say ‘we’ because obviously even though I don’t have a higher degree than a Bachelor’s in History it’s completely obvious that I am one. Just go with it. But there have been some magnificent April Fools in recent years. Let’s look at three of my favorites: oh and by recent I mean within the last 50 years…

#1 The Norwegian Wine Surplus – Norway was selling their ‘surplus’ wine at 75% off but the catch was that they didn’t have enough bottles so you had to bring your own containers. Brb while I go get every container in my apartment

 

#2 The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest – The Swedes can do it all; they grow spaghetti and had a bumper crop! Wait, if you can grow spaghetti does that make it a vegetable?

 

#3 The Taco Liberty Bell – Taco Bell apparently bought the Liberty Bell “Yo quiero Liberty Bell” indeed

 

What pranks are you pulling today? Did you get fooled? Check out my instagram for more details on how I fooled my coworkers today! And check out the 2015 in Lists: Week 13 List for all those pranks!

 

 

I’m Irish, You’re Irish, EVERYBODY’S Irish!

Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me. – St. Patrick

spd 5

Today marks, as I’m sure you are aware by all the green clad and soon to be drunk wastrels around you, St. Patrick’s Day. Were you aware that this day originally started as a religious holiday and one that was usually spent on your knees in Mass rather than by a bar in a pub?

Did you also know that historically on the Feast Day of Saint Patrick in Ireland the Lenten fasting observations were lifted? (Hold up while I pretend to hop a plane to Dublin and partake in some alcohol and fried food…) This is where the now rambunctious party atmosphere comes from. Lent was a dismal and flavorless time and Saint Patrick’s Day gave the winter weary Irish a respite.

Why shamrocks some ask? It’s because Saint Patrick used them to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. It’s also interesting to know that the original color of Saint Patrick’s Day was blue not green. I’m not quite sure Saint Patrick’s Day would hold such a special place in my heart if the color was blue and not green…

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”

 

Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you and yours!

 

 

PS inspiration for today’s title came from inkpug… adorable

Mardi Gras: Why is it such a big deal?


Do you know what you’re celebrating today?

Here’s a little bit of the history of Mardi Gras! 

Mardi Gras, literally “fat Tuesday” en francias, is the end of the time of celebration known as Carnivale, basically the super large party right before Ash Wednesday and the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent. Although for those of you that can count, the Catholic Lenten Rite is actually 44 days. Since every religion that celebrates Lent is rooted in Catholicism the celebration of “fat tuesday” or Carnivale, started in Roman Catholic countries, France and Italy respectively, and spread from there. Many historian also believe that a celebration was being held previous to Catholicism taking root and was originally a pagan ritual welcoming the soon to be arrival of Spring. The origin of the words “fat tuesday” came from eating the calf that had been fattened especially for this celebration. 

Lent is the season of penitence where Christian denominations give up things from their life that they see as keeping them from acting as Christ or from having a better relationship with Christ. 

Mardi Gras is basically the one last hooray before this season of penance. (Plus Pope Gregory XIII made it an official holiday so as a good Catholic I must celebrate it right?)

Today many believe that Mardi Gras has swollen from a mediocre party into a loud rambunctious event that is out of control.  While I wouldn’t dispute that New Orleans or Venice today is certainly to be one alcohol fueled party I would ask the question “Does anyone believe that the parties of today can necessarily compete with the parties of Renaissance Paris and Rome?” 

My euros are on Louis XIV that he probably had the most debauched, unruly, and wild Mardi Gras/pre-Lenten celebration that the world has ever seen. 
 
In New Orleans you would say “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” but since I speak French and that grates on the grammatical side of me, in France one would say something to the effect of “Que la fête commence!” (translations: 1) let the good times roll (literal) 2) The Festival begins!)

Have a fun Mardi Gras!

“if you don’t know History then you don’t know anything”
-michael crichton

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