Humorina in Odessa
Odessa is a wonderful town on the Black Sea coast, always warmed with the sun having famous Potemkinskaya stairway, chestnuts growing along French boulevard and naturally its main symbol – Deribasovskaya street. This is the town whose citizens are doomed to laughing, humor and jokes right from their birth.
As Odessans say: «All the humor is produced in Odessa!» Everyone who has visited Odessa at least once get an impression that majority of anecdotes are from this gay and cheerful sea town. Do you want to make sure yourself? Then there is no better way than visiting Odessa on the 1st of April.
It’s rather interesting, that 1st of April is not included in the list of international holidays and significant dates. Nevertheless, this holiday can be rightfully considered as international one, because people like celebrating it in many countries: in Germany, France, England, and Scandinavia, Russia and even in the East. In some countries the first of April is called Fool’s Day, in others –Laughter Day, in Odessa it’s called Humorina!
So, how did the tradition of celebrating April, 1st begin? It’s rather difficult to answer this question. There exist several versions of its origin. Most hypotheses state that this holiday is rooted in long-ago European carnival-booth medieval culture. This is one of the firmest and most ancient elements of heathendom deeply indurated in consciousness of many Christians.
A lot of historians consider this holiday to be born in Ancient Rome. Here, not on the first of April, but in the middle of February, Fools’ Holiday was celebrated. A famous Roman writer Apuleius said, that fraud on the first of April was connected with honoring God of Laugh. But some scientists deny such version and assume that this holiday came from India, where Day of Jokes was celebrated on the 31st of March.
According to one more version the holiday appeared in XVI due to the fact that New Year celebration was shifted. Until the second half of XVI century, New Year used to begin on the 1st of April. Like nowadays, people made significant preparations, visited each other, exchanged presents. But later, King of France issued a decree to move New Year beginning to the 1st of January. A lot of his nationals decided to follow old traditions and continued to celebrate New Year on the 1st of April. In order to root these traditions out, such people were nicknamed «first-April Fools». At that time it was popular to laugh at them and play them off.
You can hardly say for sure where this holiday came on the territory of Russia and Ukraine from, but in works of many Russian writers and poets lines about playing jokes on the 1st of April appeared as early as in XVIІ century.
One more reason for Laughter Day celebration is nature itself. People tried to please capricious spring by means of jokes.
«Humorina» Festival starts every year at noon on the 1st of April in Odessa near the Opera House. After that Humor Parade begins which is a carnival procession along Odessa main street called Deribasovskaya, starting from Cathedral square. In terms of this festival, concerts, competitions, jokes and many other amusements are organized on different stages all around the town. It has already become a tradition for Odessans to open a new comic monument in the sculptures yard of Literature museum on this day.
«Humorina» culmination will be gala-concert on Kulikovo field and on Primorsky boulevard involving famous stars of stage and humor, performing artist from Ukraine and other CIS countries. The holiday ends late at night with fireworks and disco for youth on Kulikovo field!
Excursion around the town will add bright emotions to your impression of Humorina in Odessa. Potemkinskaya stairs, Deribasovskaya street, Dumskaya square, Arkadia, Primorsky boulevard, French boulevard are really worth seeing.
On Day of Laugh everyone would’t mind playing a joke with his or her relatives, loved ones and surrounding, that’s why note that absolutely nobody is safe from jokes in Odessa on the 1st of April. Even the most serious people can’t help smiling on the 1st of April.
Our advice is to be on your guard, renew your stores of good sense of humor, at least a small set of fresh jokes, funny rhymes. Don’t get offended because of jokes, just reply the same way! In general, be cheerful, laugh, make fun, and remember that laughing makes our life longer!
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