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April Fools’ Day, also known as All Fools’ Day, is observed on 1st April by playing prank on people. It is a day of practical jokes and hoaxes. The recipients of these pranks are called April Fools. It is a generally accepted custom that the pranks should not be harmful. April Fools’ Day is not a public holiday in any country except Odessa, Ukraine, where the first of April is an official city holiday. On this day people enjoy pranking those around them – be it parents, children, friends, colleagues etc. In certain countries, April Fools’ jokes must be made before noon on 1st April, otherwise it is the prankster who is the April Fool.
April Fools Day 2022 History
There is no concrete conclusion on how the day came in being. Some scholars believe it is likely to be a relic of the Roman tradition of Hilaria, a spring festival held to mark the vernal equinox. These celebrations of the first days of spring began on 25 March and ended on 2 April. The festivities included games, processions, and masquerades, during which disguised commoners could imitate nobility. It is believed that 1st April was observed as a general festival in pagan Britain.
Another assumption is based on the Gregorian calendar. Before 1952 the Julian calendar, created by Julius Caesar in 45 BC, was in use. According to this calendar, new year began on April 1st. Pope Gregory the 8th created a new calendar known as the Gregorian calendar. When he moved the date of New Year’s Eve it obviously took some time for everyone to catch on to it. Those who were a bit behind the times still celebrated on April 1, and were considered fools for doing so.
Some writers suggest that April Fools’ originated because, in the Middle Ages, New Year’s Day was celebrated on 25th March in most European towns, It was celebrated with a holiday especially in France that ended on 1st April and those who celebrated New Year’s Eve on 1 January made fun of those who celebrated on other dates by the invention of April Fools’ Day. The use of 1 January as New Year’s Day became common in France only in the mid-16th century and that date was not adopted officially until 1564.
In the Netherlands, the origin of April Fools’ Day is often attributed to the Dutch victory in 1572 at Brielle. In 1572, the Netherlands were under Spanish rule. On April 1, 1572, Dutch rebels seized the town of Den Brielle. This marked the start of the general civil rising against the Spanish across the Netherlands. The Duke of Alba, who was the commander of the Spanish army at the time, could not do anything to prevent the uprising from gathering momentum. Brielle is the Dutch word for glasses, so it was said that “Alba lost his glasses.”
April Fools Day 2022 Celebrations
Even though the Fools Day is a day of hoaxes and pranks, different countries have different traditions for the day. In Scotland, April Fool’s Day is celebrated over two days and the second day is called Taily Day. This day is devoted to pranks involving the buttocks. The origins of the “Kick Me” sign can be traced back to the Scottish observance.
Mexico’s equivalent to April Fool’s Day is on December 28th. Originally, the day was a sombre remembrance of the slaughter of the innocent children by King Herod, though, over the years, it has evolved into a light-hearted commemoration involving pranks and tricks.
In France, the April fool is known as ‘poisson d’avril’ (April fish). It is not known what exactly the fish refers to, but it may be related to the sun leaving Pieces (the fish) at the start of April. A part of the tradition in France was the placing of dead fish unknowingly on the backs of friends. French children today use paper fish and stick them on unsuspecting backs with tape. Shops and bakeries also offer special fish-shaped sweets.
In Greece, successfully tricking someone on day is said to bring the prankster good luck for the entire year. In some parts of the country, people believe that rainfall on April 1st is said to have healing abilities.
Apart from people playing pranks on one another on April Fools’ Day, pranks have been played by radio and television stations, newspapers, and websites, and also by large corporations. The famous prank was by BBC in 1957 in which the channel broadcast a film in their Panorama current affairs series purporting to show Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti, in what they called the Swiss spaghetti harvest. The BBC was soon flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a hoax on the news the next day.
April Fool’s Day 2022 is a time of pranks, jokes and laughter. The most important part of all jokes and pranks is that they should be followed with the declaration of the words ‘April Fools’ in order to differentiate between truth and jokes and pranks on the specific day.