An April First Festival
Source: Games For All Occasions
Category: APRIL FOOL'S DAY
A "King's Jester," painted in water-color, clad in red and yellow,
smiling and beckoning, is painted on one side of the white card of
invitation. On the reverse side is written, in gold ink, "'Fools make
feasts and wise people eat them,' saith the seer. Will you be one of
the many wise ones on All Fools' Day evening to partake of a feast, and
make merry betimes?"
On the appointed evening the guests are met at the door and conducted to
the parlor by a youth, dressed in a red blouse with full bishop sleeves
and long pointed yellow cuffs, and a full-gathered, double skirt, half
way to the knees, made in pointed scallops--the scallops of the lower
skirt of yellow alternating with the scallops of the upper one of red
with a jingling gold bell sewed to each scallop. One stocking is red,
and the other yellow, and one foot is thrust into a red sandal, and the
other into a yellow one, with a bell on each sharply pointed toe.
Around his waist is a red leather belt; a yellow jester's cap with red
leather rim, and with bells on the hood, and a red cape with yellow
lining completes his dress. The costume is made of glossy sateen; the
sandals of canton flannel.
A half hour before dinner, the "fool" hands each guest pencil and paper
and menu card, and they are asked to guess the dinner viands. The menu
reads, "Food for the Wise:"
1. Baked portion of beast Americanized in 1493, by Columbus. (Ham.)
2. Fried jewel-boxes of the sea. (Oysters.)
3. Fried young sons of a fowl first found in Java. (Spring chicken.)
4. Slices of a Chilean tuber that once saved a cross-sea nation from
famine. (Chipped potatoes.)
5. Love apples. (Tomatoes.)
6. Salad of a bleached vegetable, akin to the hemlock of Socrates.
7. A nineteen-day vegetable. (Radishes.)
8. A Greek herb pudding. (Asparagus.)
9. Fruit that caused a war. (Apples.)
10. Sauce of an old world plant, akin to dock. (Rhubarb.)
11. Slices of bread, and the fruit of the emblem of peace. (Olives
12. A food with which Canaan was said to flow--eggs and sugar, boiled
and frozen. (Custard.)
13. Dear to squirrels. (Nuts.)
14. Sugar plums. (Bon-bons.)
15. Obtained from the hoopskirt and tin can eater. (Cheese.)
16. Sugared dough. (Cake.)
17. A drink (from a berry) introduced in England in 1652 by a Greek.
The prizes for the best "guessers" are books--Max Pemberton's "Queen of
Jesters" for the fortunate girl, and Victor Hugo's "Man Who Laughs" for
the lucky man. The booby prizes are wands with "fools' heads" of
The cloth of the dining table is made of sheeting, with a two-inch hem,
and with pleasantly jingling bells of yellow and red sewed thickly
around the entire edge.
At each end of the table, with each hand catching a red ribbon that runs
in waves entirely around the table, is a King's Jester, painted on the
cloth--facsimiles of the living one who served the guests.
For painting the cloth--common tube paints are used--taking for a
thinning medium a mixture of three ounces of turpentine, ten drops of
pure cider vinegar, six drops of lemon extract, and a little sugar of
lead. The figures are drawn with a lead drawing pencil, and care taken
in painting them to prevent the paint spreading over the edges of the
design. Several days are given the cloth to dry before using.
The tomatoes and apples are yellow and red; the radishes are red; the
cakes are small squares, iced yellow and red, and the bon-bons are
little clear red and lemon colored fishes--typical of the French
"poissons d'Avril," "April fish," as their "April Fool" is called.
Following are a few games, etc., for the amusement of children small and
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Previous: April Fool's Day