All Fools’ Day – How Did
the first day of April. Those
who might have overlooked checking the date may be easy prey for pranksters
bent on keeping the traditions of April Fools’ Day alive. It is a day for
pranks, hoaxes and practical jokes.
All Fools’ Day in other parts
of the world, the day has never been a national holiday. But it is a day
dedicated to an odd form of celebration none-the-less.
can’t pin down the exact
origin of all this foolishness but there are various interesting theories.
the most popular thought is
that the origin of All Fools’ Day is traced back to 1592 in France when King
Charles IX introduced the Gregorian calendar. And that caused a lot of
confusion among the citizens as to just what day they were living in. The most
significant shift was that the New Year’s celebration was moved from the week
of March 25-April 1 to January 1.
have radio, television or
telephones in 1592 so communication traveled slowly. Those who failed to get
the message, or just forgot about the change in dates for the New Year
celebration, were labeled “fools” by their friends and subject to ridicule.
story is told, the people that
still celebrated the new year on April 1 were called “April fish,” suggesting
that only the young and na´ve fish in the pond were the most easily caught. A
prank of hooking a paper fish on the person’s back became a common joke of the
story, perhaps, but European
literature dating much earlier also makes reference to citizens playing pranks
on their friends and neighbors. In fact French poet Elov d’Amerval referred to
an “April fish” as early as 1508, nearly a century before the introduction of
the Gregorian calendar.
poet Eduard de Dene wrote about
a nobleman that send his servants to do silly errands on April 1, in 1539. And
in 1698, several people were reportedly sold tickets to see lions washed at the
Tower of London.
that Chaucer’s Canterbury
Tale: “Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” set on the date thirty days and two of March,
1392, in which the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox, may be among the
very earliest references to trickery on April 1. There are only 31 days in
it’s origins, April 1, or
dates close to this, have become traditional triggers of general tomfoolery in
countries around the world. At least in the Northern Hemisphere.
leads us to believe that the
real reasons for the day of rivalry may be linked to the beginning of the end
of the cold days of winter and the joy of promise that a new year of sunshine
and harvest may bring.
It is a
kind of May Day celebration,
only one month early.