Campaign of the Month: June 2012
All Fools Day
Beginning at dawn on the first day of the month, and lasting until sundown (It is considered rude to continue the ‘celebration’ past sundown, for the parties involved may get hurt in the darkening hours. He holiday started with the reassignment of the calendar after the founding of the Free Kingdoms in year 1, Year of the Standard. The month of Uri, before the War of the Standard, was the beginning of the annual calendar, and Uri the first was celebrated as the new year. The calendar was reorganized, with Maalbring being the first month of the year in this new system of counting. The gist of this holiday is based on a old Juisse tradition, for in that country (and many others), it took the news of the calendar change some time to reach many of the outlying regions. Communications being what they were (news traveled mostly by foot), many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on Uri 1. These backward folk were labeled as “fools” by the general populace. They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on “fools errands” or were made the butt of other practical jokes. This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of Uri. The tradition eventually spread to the rest of the Free Kingdoms.
Today in Juisse, people who are fooled on Uri 1 are called Poisson d’Uri, which literally means the “Uri Fish.” One common joke is to hook a paper fish to the back of a person. What a fish has to do with All Fools’ Day is not clear. Some believe that the fish is tied to Shalimyr, god of the sea. The fish represents folks who may still think it is the month of Shal. Others say the fish is related to a long-disused celestial constellation, which was represented by a fish, and falls near Uri That constellation is now part of The Chorus of the Birds.
In Cymbryll, for example, All Fool’s Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. The origin of the “kick me” sign can be traced to this observance.