April Fool’s Day : What is it? And Why it is celebrated? Know here

Although April Fool’s Day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery.

Some historians speculate that April Fool’s Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.


Historians have also linked April Fool’s Day to festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises.

There’s also speculation that April Fool’s Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

Monday is April 1st and that means April Fool’s Day. In the UK an April Fool joke is revealed by shouting “April Fool” at the person who has been ridiculed, who then becomes “April Fool”.
The roots of April Fool’s Day are still mysterious. Some say its origin can be traced back to the Roman festival known as Hilaria, which was celebrated on March 25, rejoicing in the resurrection of Attis. Thus, the origin of the word “hilarious”. Others attribute it to the change to the Gregorian calendar. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. Accordingly, New Year’s Day was to be celebrated on Jan 1st. But strange the Gregorian calendar was not adopted in England until 1752. But according to records, April Fool’s Day was already well established by then. Still others say it is connected to Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” where a fox plays a prank on a rooster.



Though there are some variations from where April Fool’s Day stems; it does not matter? What is important, is the source of mischief and it gives a chance to laugh off the prank.
Today, there are many fun tricks played, and to play especially on family and friends in good humour. But the most important thing according to tradition, is that the joke should cease at midday, at which time it is no longer acceptable. The holiday we are told ceases at mid-day and a person playing a joke or a prank after midday is considered the “April Fool” themselves?

Why is All Fool’s Day or April Fool’s Day on April 1?

There are several theories about the origin on the April Fool’s Day custom. One explanation focuses on the introduction of the Julian and the Gregorian calendar. From ancient times, people in some parts of Europe celebrated the New Year on or around the March Equinox. However, the new calendar systems defined January 1 as the first day of the year.

People who forgot about the change or observed the old rules for other reasons became victims of various jokes. For example, pranksters would discreetly stick paper fish to their backs. In France, the victims of this prank were called Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish.

Biblical theories

Another belief on the April Fool’s Day origin points to the biblical character Noah as the first “April Fool”. It is said that on April 1, he mistakenly sent the dove out to find dry land before the waters subsided.

A second story tells that the day commemorates when Jesus was sent from Pontius Pilate to Herod and back again. “Sending a man from Pilate to Herod”, is an old term for sending someone on a fool’s errand.

April Fool’s Day in History

Practical jokes and pranks date back to Ancient Roman times. Ancient Romans and Celts celebrated a festival of practical joking around the time of the March equinox.

The Origin of “Fool’s Errands”

According to Roman myth, the god Pluto abducted Proserpina to the underworld. Her mother Ceres only heard her daughter’s voice echo and searched for her in vain. The fruitless search is believed by some to have inspired the tradition of “fool’s errands”, practical jokes where people are asked to complete an impossible or imaginary task.

All Fool’s Day in British Folklore

British folklore links April Fool’s Day to the town of Gotham in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the king placed his foot upon to become public property. So when Gotham’s citizens heard that King John planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the king heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of fools engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish. As a result, the king declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment.


The types of pranks
We all know with April showers come May flowers but planning or playing mischievous tricks on unsuspecting individuals is mainly to inject light hearted fun. But today people have become slightly suspicious of what they read in the media, to avoid being tricked.
A possible outcome everyone is expecting tomorrow is about Brexit?
“We love April Fool’s jokes” say the ads” at Google. Microsoft has however banned April Fool’s Day pranks by its staff because they admit they can cause more harm than good.
Making things up like “fake news” and tricking people into believing them is pursued by some others.
Is April Fool’s Day pranks creative?
Tech companies always try to show their “creativity” especially with April Fool’s day stunts. The outcomes may be amusing, but how about the process?
Here are some April Fool pranks for kids or for those who want to be kids once again.
1. Notice on door states: “Doorbell Broken! Yell “Ding Dong!” really loudly to be heard.”
2. Teacher mixes similar looking candies in a small bowl and leaves it for students with a note:” Please watch what you eat children?” Some children noticing that
“M & M’s” are mixed with “skittles” take the teacher on by writing a yellow sticker outside the bowl “whoever you are, do not think, we don’t know the difference between M & M and Skittles. We know M & M’s have “M&M” and Skittles have and the letter “S” imprinted on them?
3. Many companies also can “con” their customers, so beware into believing the most outlandish news items. On 1 April 2018 Netflix announced it had acquired “Actor Seth Rogen” a lifetime transfer deal. It turned out to be an April Fool’s joke that left many scratching their heads and smiling in amusement.
Is there anything that can be not a joke?
Many years ago, populist parties were marginal in the world of politics? Tomorrow we will know if anti-establishment populism is here to stay. Populism is on the rise in Europe and around the world today. This we know is since the financial crisis of 2008 and the refugee migration in Europe in 2015.
Five of the world’s largest democracies including the United States, according to analysts are led by populists. How about predicting if Britain will be in Europe for the European Elections in May 2019 and would Europe return more right-wing populists to scuttle Britain remaining in Europe?

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