Every year on April 1st, the day also known as April Fool’s Day, practical jokes are played on many people throughout the world. But, have you ever wondered why April Fool’s Day is celebrated at the beginning of April and is a day for tricks? Continue reading and test your funny day knowledge with these 11 facts.
- There are many different accounts of how April Fool’s Day started. One origin is that the holiday dates to 1582 in France when the country switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which is now the currently used calendar. This switch removed 10 days from the year and moved the beginning of the year to January 1stfrom April 1st. Those who were slow to recognize the change became targets of jokes. The day is also known as All Fools’ Day.
- Another account for the beginning of the day relates to ancient festivals, such as Hilaria. This festival is celebrated at the end of March in Rome and people dress up in costume. Also, the Hindu festival, Holi, is said to be related to the origins of April Fool’s Day. Holi is a celebration of defeating evil and lasts for two days. Finally, the holiday has been linked to the medieval Feast of Asses or Feast of Fools. This feast was usually celebrated during New Year’s, but changed when France switched calendars. It included customs, such as impersonating Hebrew prophets, plays, and more.
- During the 18thcentury in Scotland, the holiday became a two-day event. It started with “hunting the gowk,” which is where people were sent on phony errands. Gowk is a word for cuckoo bird or symbol for fool. The next day was called Tailie Day, where jokes were played on people, usually involving their backsides. Some historians believe this is where the “kick me” signs started.
- Currently, in France, the day is known as “Poisson d’Avril” and children fool their friends by taping paper fishes to their backs. When the trick is discovered, everyone yells “Poisson d’Avril!” This prank is known as “April Fish.”
- Jokes and tricks are only played in the morning of April 1stin England and Canada.
- Newspapers, radio stations, television channels, websites, and more have joined in on the fun. Fictional stories continue to fool people every year and some stories keep getting bigger and bigger. For example, in 1957, BBC reported that Swiss farmers had a record spaghetti crop that year. The story even showed people pulling noodles from trees!
- In 1996, another famous tale is when Taco Bell claimed they had purchased the Liberty Bell and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” In fact, the company ran full-page ads in several major newspapers nationwide, announcing their “recent purchase.”
- In 2008, BBC fooled people again. During their broadcast, they claimed penguins in Antarctica started flying and that they had flown to South America’s rainforests.
- In Portugal, people throw flours at each other. Another unusual tradition is in Poland, where people pour water on others.
- Looking for an April Fool’s Day joke? Try this one! For the bathroom hoax, all you need to do put food coloring around the inside of a bathtub or sink faucet with a Q-tip. Then, turn the water on and you’ll get colored water.
- Another fun joke is freezing cereal and milk in a bowl overnight. Next morning at breakfast, give it to a loved one and watch their reactions.
This April Fool’s Day have a little fun. After all, laughter is the best medicine!