April Fool’s Day History. The Practical Joker’s Holiday. Although the holiday of practical jokes has no concrete beginning, some historical sources place its origins near the time of the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.
April Fool’s Day is a holiday for pranksters and jokes, and its history stretches back for almost 500 years. The Gregorian calendar was introduced in the late 16th century and changed the date of New Year’s celebrations. The old New Year’s celebration occurred during the time that is now called April Fool’s Day; the global history of this holiday has created a number of popular pranks.
The Gregorian calendar was brought into public use by Pope Gregory XIII, and it is still used internationally today. It was intended to reform the Julian Cycle and the Catholic Church’s lunar cycle, both of which were used to calculate the Easter Celebration.
Implementing the Gregorian calendar took a number of years due to slow communication. The shift in New Year’s celebrations from April to January caused confusion in many areas of Europe, and some people refused to acknowledge the change. These people began to be the butts of many pranks on April First and were referred to as the fools. This was the basis for the holiday that is today April Fool’s Day.
April Fool’s Day Around the World
The celebration of All Fool’s Day goes on for the entire day in many countries; practical jokes ranging from the benign to the downright ludicrous are perpetrated. Some common practical jokes include putting a “Kick Me” sign on someone’s back –a tradition that can be traced back to the Scottish April Fool’s Day Celebration. In Scotland, the holiday is referred to as Taily Daily.
England’s celebration of April Fool’s Day is normally restricted to the morning hours, whereas the celebration lasts for two days in Portugal. Different areas of the country have different traditions depending on their association with the holiday. In Rome, for instance, the holiday is referred to as the Festival of Hilaria, after the Roman god of laughter, and it is celebrated on March 25.
Common April Fool’s Day Tricks
Simple tricks that can be played on April Fool’s Day without causing bad feelings or injury are the most popular types of tricks; these harmless pranks are a source of amusement rather than annoyance. Prank phone calls, sending individuals on wild goose chases or ridiculous errands and the telling of outlandish stories are common tricks. Once the joke has been completed, the prankster frequently yells “April Fool!” to the person that has been tricked.
Making a good April Fool’s joke usually requires some planning and effort on the part of the pranksters, which makes the trick all the more worthwhile. Elaborate hoaxes and tricks can be challenging but rewarding.