Ah, April Fool's Day, the holiday that gives us a free pass to be jerks and then laugh it off as a joke. But, as we prepare our pranks, gags, and ruses, many believe we're actually paying tribute to one of the biggest jerks in Norse mythology. Yes, we're talking about Loki, the god of mischief and all things chaotic.
Of course, the roots of April Fool's Day can't be traced directly back to Old Nordic traditions. Theories abound about the holiday's origins: It may have grown out of the ancient Roman festival Hilaria, the establishment of the Gregorian calendar, or any number of vernal equinox celebrations.
Loki's role in the festivities has faded in and out of mainstream thought, but some Pagans and self-described Heathens actually refer to April Fool's Day as Loki's Day or Lokiblót, and spend the day celebrating the mythic trickster. (For the record, some Wiccans celebrate Loki with a festival in late July).
Other sects of Paganism and Wicca dedicate April 1 to gods besides Loki, from the Hindu goddess of destruction Kali to a mysterious deity known only as the God of chaos energy. We don't know about you, but we're picking up on a theme here. Whatever god you worship on the first of April, it's more than likely a trickster god or an agent of true disaster. Sounds like April Fool's Day to us.
So, as you plan your sure-to-go-viral April Fool's prank, you can look to Loki's exploits for inspiration, like the time he burned a giant alive or aided in the murder of one of his fellow gods. Er, or maybe just post a funny meme instead.
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