April 1st Traditions from Around the World

April 1st Traditions from Around the World

2013
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Tuesday was every jokester’s favorite holiday, April Fools’ Day. Hopefully you didn’t suffer through any humiliating pranks. Seeing of the shenanigans of April 1st made me wonder, why do we celebrate such a ridiculous holiday anyways?  The history of April Fools’ Day is a bit ambiguous but it is believed that the holiday originated when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the 1500s. At this time, the New Year was moved from April to January. Those who kept the April date were called fools. It’s not only Americans who enjoy the buffoonery of this day; many countries around the world celebrate April 1st in one-way or another. Here are some of the most interesting traditions.

1. Scotland

In Scotland the holiday lasts two days. The first day is known as Hunt the Gook Day. The idea is to send someone out on a fool’s errand. You ask someone to deliver a sealed message, the contents of which the recipient passes on and continues the game. The second day is know as Taily Day in which you put “Kick me” signs on people’s back.  

2. France

In France, April 1st is referred to as Poisson d'Avril, which translates to "April Fish." The term refers to the fish that are recently hatched and therefore naïve and easy to catch. The traditional prank is to tape a paper fish on to someone’s back and wait for it to be discovered.

3. Iran

The 13th day of the Persian New Year is called Sizdah Bedar, and usually falls on April 1 or April 2.  Pranks have reportedly been played on this holiday since 536 BC, making it perhaps the oldest known joke day. People traditionally spend the day outside picnicking and playing games. After the picnic, you throw away all green vegetables, which traditionally represent potential illness or bad luck for the coming year.

4. Poland

Poland’s joke day called, Prima Aprillis, often includes dressing up in costume and playing pranks on unsuspecting strangers. Additionally, the media likes to plan elaborate pranks often times involving public institutions to make it look more believable.  The holiday is taken so seriously that the anti-Turkish alliance with Leopold I signed on April 1, 1683 was backdated to March 31.

5. Denmark and Sweden

Danes and Swedes have two prank days. In addition to April 1st they also celebrate Maj-kat on May 1st. When someone has been fooled in Sweden, to disclose that it was a joke, the fooler says the rhyme "april april din dumma sill, jag kan lura dig vart jag vill" ("April, April, you stupid herring, I can fool you to wherever I want") for April 1 jokes, or "maj maj måne, jag kan lura dig till Skåne" (May May moon, I can fool you into Scania) for May 1 jokes.

6. Canada

April fools day in Canada is very similar to the celebration in the Unites States. One interesting occurrence on April Fools day in Canada is that skeptic James Randi gives out awards entitled Pigasus Awards that seek to expose paranormal or psychic frauds or ridicule institutions that promote paranormal claims. Past Pigasus award winners include The McDonnell Foundation, who gave $500,000 to Washington University in St. Louis to study spoon-bending children; and the City Council of AucklandNew Zealand, for a NZ$2,500 (US$1,800) grant to the Foundation For Spiritualist Mediums "to teach people to communicate with the dead.

So if you pranking attempts failed this year, perhaps next year you can adopt some of these diverse traditions to brighten your April 1st.

 Photo Captian

Make sure to mark your calendar next year so you do not fall for any pranks. 

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Remember To Be Kind To Theme Park Cast Members This Holiday Season

They make the magic for you.
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For those of you who have traveled to a theme park during the holidays, you know what you are in for.

The weeks right before and after Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year to visit, making the parks extremely crowded and wait times higher than usual. Yet, this time is so popular since it is fun to experience the magic of the season with your family during the special Christmastime celebrations at the parks that bring something extra to your holidays.

One of the most important things to remember during this time of year is to be nice to the cast members!

Families that come to the parks during this time have so much to remember and so much to do; unfortunately, something that is often forgotten during a vacation is to be thankful for those who have to work during this time of year.

The cast members and team members who work during the holidays are doing so at the expense of spending time with their own families. They are sacrificing their Christmas celebrations at home to be at work making your vacation magical.

Some of these workers are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their families and may not have seen them for weeks or even months. Yet, they are here in Orlando working in a job that they are passionate about because they love making happiness for their guests

Making magic and spreading happiness is something that is important to us and why we love what we do. However, it is still really hard to be away from our families at Christmas.

Think it is hard to be a guest when the parks are crowded?

It's even more difficult for the cast members who are working as hard as they can, for 8-15 hour shifts, when things happen that are out of our control. We too dislike long waits, telling your child that he is too short to ride or the fact that a ride is temporarily closed. These things make our jobs difficult too, just as they may be a huge setback in your vacation plans.

So focus on the positive things and appreciate the time you can spend with your families and friends rather than dwelling on the things that may be small setbacks during an overall wonderful holiday vacation. Please be patient this holiday season. Give the cast members a smile and a pleasant "thank you" or "Merry Christmas". We are here for you and we want you to have a wonderful vacation, but it still makes an incredible difference to know that our work is appreciated.

At this time of year, it is important to spread Christmas cheer and we are excited to celebrate with you and your families!

Cover Image Credit: Park Troopers

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7 Reasons 'Starset' Deserves To Get Big

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do.

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Starset consists of four members, Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert. The band was formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. Their music has influenced my and several others lives.

Here are a few reasons why they deserve to go down as one of the biggest bands in history.


1. They're the most original band I've heard in awhile.

Starset's content is unlike any other band I've heard or seen before. They classify themselves as "space rock", creating a type of music that many have never heard of before. They use your regular guitar, bass, and drums, but they also incorporate the use of violins, cellos, and synthesizers to create the unique, one of a kind sound. The lead singer, Dustin Bates, even created his own microphone that distorts his voice to use in live shows, so that you feel as though he's speaking to you through a radio in a space station.

2. They're all a bunch of nerds/dorks.

Starset is the kind of band that you'd love to be friends with. Not only are they wicked smart, they also have an amazing sense of humor. They incorporate their knowledge into the songs that they write, leaving you wanting to learn more about what it is they write in their songs.

3. Their songs are lyrically and melodically beautiful.

Ricochet is one of their most impactful and meaningful songs. When you first listen to it you can hear the emotion in Dustin's voice, but as you take a minute to listen to the lyrics, you realize it has so much more meaning than what you assumed. It represents the struggle of a relationship gone sour, the internal struggles within yourself, and the effect it has on both people in the relationship. It's a song that a lot of people can relate to, and I find that amazing.

4. They interact with and care about their fans.

Nyah Kite

Before their shows, they do eat and greets where they hang out with their fans, eat pizza, perform some acoustic songs, and take pictures with them. They have genuine conversations with them, asking us our names, what we like to do, and just keep up small talk. My brother, pictured here, had a conversation with Ron, the bassist, before the show started and they got along phenomenally. I don't know many bands who take that much time to get to know their fans and they even interact with them on Twitter.

5. Have comics with Marvel.

The Prox Transmissions - Marvel Comics

comicstore.marvel.com

Not only does Starset create music, they also have their own comics with Marvel. The comics are based on an alternate world they created through their music. Each album has a story, but now it's come to life through their comic, The Pros Transmissions. How dope is that?

6. Created their own society to inform the world of various things.

The Starset Society is a mission, created by Starset, to inform others of the up-coming technological advances happening in the world today. The main goal of this society is to make sure we're well aware of the things happening in the world, and it's not just aimed for the fans of Starset. It's influenced by the idea of Thomas Jefferson that says the first step toward a guided future is an informed public.

7. They love what they do.

Nyah Kite

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do. They put so much work into making their shows interactive and enjoyable, and they spend years working on albums so that they and their fans are pleased with the final product. Knowing that they put so much passion and effort into their work makes it obvious that they deserve to be one of the biggest bands in history.

After learning more about this amazing, influential band, aren't you intrigued to hear more of their music? To learn more about their society and their comics? They're great people with a great purpose driving them to continue creating some of the most unique, epic rock sounds in history. Check out Starset. You won't regret it.


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