Monday, April 1, 2013
April Fool's Day
Most of us have been the victim of an April Fool’s Day
prank, but where did this custom come from? Whether you are the victim or the perpetrator on April 1st read on for some interesting
information according to www.timeanddate.com.
7:23 am edt
April Fool’s Pranks
April 1 is a day for practical jokes in many countries around the world. The simplest jokes may involve children who
tell each other that their shoelaces are undone and then cry out “April Fool!” when the victims glance at their
feet. Some April Fool’s jokes publicized in the media include:
· In 2002, British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement
in The Sun, announcing a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot’. The ad explained that the carrots were engineered
to grow with tapered air holes in their side. When fully cooked, these holes would cause the carrot to whistle.
· In the early 1960s,
there was only one television channel in Sweden, broadcast in black and white. As an April Fool’s joke, it was announced
on the news that viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception by pulling a nylon stocking over their
· In 1934, many American newspapers, including The New York Times, printed a photograph of a man flying through
the air, supported by a device powered only by the breath from his lungs. Accompanying articles excitedly described this miraculous
All Fool’s Day on April 1?
April 1 is April Fool’s Day is probably connected to the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. Before the
Gregorian calendar was introduced, people in some parts of Europe celebrated the New Year and exchanged gifts on
April 2. New Year’s Day was officially moved to January 1 after the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582.People who forgot about the change were often mocked by their
friends, as they continued to make New Year visits just after the old date. Those who failed to keep up with the change and
celebrated the New Year during the week that fell between March 25 and April 1 became victims of various jokes. For example,
pranksters would discreetly stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were called Poisson d’Avril,
or April Fish.
Fool’s Day in History
and pranks date back to Ancient Roman times. Ancient Romans and Celts celebrated a festival of practical joking around the
time of the March equinox.
The Origin of “Fool’s Errands”
According to Roman myth, the god Pluto abducted Proserpina to the underworld. Her mother Ceres only heard her daughter’s
voice echo and searched for her in vain. The fruitless search is believed by some to have inspired the tradition
“fool’s errands”, practical jokes where people are asked to complete an impossible or imaginary task.
All Fool’s Day
in British Folklore
British folklore links
April Fool’s Day to the town
of Gotham in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was traditional in the
13th century for any road that the king placed his foot upon to become public property. So when Gotham’s citizens heard
that King John planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the
king heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of fools
engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish. As a result, the king declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment.