Thursday, March 29, 2012

April Fool's Day, what is it really all about?

 I'm sure you know what April Fools Day is. It's a day when you have an excuse to play all kinds of pranks on anyone and call it a holiday tradition. For instance, you could put a very large spider in your boss's drawer (its safer if its fake) and laugh out loud when they jump out of their chair and fly from their office. Make sure you take credit though, otherwise it's not as fun. But where did it all come from? And why April 1st?

The Romans celebrated Hilaria, which was one day in a week long festival, and was a day of joy and happiness. In The Canterbury tales, Geoffrey Chaucer mentions the 32nd of March, which would technically be the 1st of April, and on that day the rooster is tricked by the fox. During the Middle Ages, when New Years Day was March 25 many areas had a week long celebration that ended on April 1. The thought process being that those who celebrated New Years on January 1, thought those who celebrated a week long New Years festival that ended on April 1 were fools. Therefore the origins are sketchy. And so is the significance of April 1st.

So we don't exactly know why or where, but we certainly know how people celebrate! And it really does vary. In France and Italy they tape cut-out paper fish to each others backs. In England they give you until noon to pull off a prank. If you play a joke after noon you become the April Fool. The US celebrates without any rules, simply trick, lie, joke, and steal (just kidding about that last one stealing is wrong) and call the person afflicted by your actions an April Fool! Start thinking of your pranks now and happy fooling!

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