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April Fool's Day is a Thing. But Why?

We all know it's coming, yet when the day arrives we still exclaim "WHAT?!" when reading that one headline. That one stupid, stupid headline.

But why? Where did this day o' jokes and pranks come from? How long have these high jinks been tricking unsuspecting folks for funsies? Luckily, the Google machine is very helpful for just this thing. So, to save you from having to type it in yourself allow me to summarize.

"Some historians speculate that April Fools’ 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. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.

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 and were called “April fools.” 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."

However, that's just one possibility. There are plenty of others, each one as silly as the next.

Scotland got a little carried away in the 18th century making the tradition a double feature starting with "hunting the gowk" in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird) THEN they had Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them. So, at least we don't have TWO days of tom foolery anymore. Silly Scots.

Sometimes the jokes go too far like saying Big Ben is going digital (people were not happy). Other times they make us wish they were real because SPRITE FROM MCD'S IS BEST.

One of the first (and best) April Fool's media prank was in 1957, when the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees.

What pranks have you played on people? And why are you the way you are?



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