April Fool's Day, also popularly known as All Fools' Day is celebrated on April 1 every year in many countries of the world. This day is dedicated to enjoying laughs by playing jokes, pranks and hoaxes on each other. In spite of there being an uncertainty about its origin and spread, April Fool's day is a grand day for playing light-hearted mischief, all over the world.
The origin of this day is hypothetically said to date back to the late 15th century. In ancient times, New Year's Day was celebrated between March 25 to April 1 (as per the Julian calendar). However, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII, ordered a shift to the Gregorian Calendar which made New Year's Day fall on 1st January.
From that year, France adopted the new calendar. But this shift faced opposition from some while some remained oblivious of the change. Because of either case, these people kept celebrating new year on 1st April. Those who knew of the change began making fun of others and called them fools. Tricks were played on these people and so was the advent of a day for tricks and jokes.
However, this hypothesis is challenged by many on grounds of the history of calendar reforms.
Yet the practice of playing pranks continued and it eventually spread to other countries.
Around the world on Fools' Day -
Different countries have their own ways of going about April Fool's Day. In Rome, this day is known as the 'Festival of Hilaria', celebrating the resurrection of god Attis on March 25.
In France this day is called 'Poisson d'Avril' meaning 'April Fish'. The prey to jokes or 'fools' are called April Fish because it is easy to catch naive fishes. Children commonly tape paper fishes to the back of their friends as a joke.
In Scotland, this day is called Taily Day as jokes involving buttocks are commonly made. The fools are known as April 'Gowk' which is a name for cuckoo bird. The butt of the jokes in England are called 'noodle' and pranks are played only till noon.
In Portugal, people throw flour at their friends on April Fools' Day.
Essence of All Fools' Day -
Unlike other celebration filled days, April Fools' Day is not an official holiday anywhere. It is still celebrated with much vigor and enthusiasm. From kids to adults, all seek to make good use of this opportunity to play mischief on family,friends or colleagues. This day is supposed to be filled with all sorts of fun that can be derived from pranks, spoofs and practical jokes. On this day, all the mini heart attacks can end in the prankster say “Ha ha! April Fool”.
In the past, on this day, even newspapers and other media have indulged in running false stories to catch the attention of many and later revealing the truth with the confession that everything was a prank.