Monday, April 3, 2017

April's Fool

Did you ever wonder how April Fools Day came about? Did you think it was some Hallmark holiday, except they forgot to make the cards (April Fools). In reality, it is a very ancient tradition which even the Romans celebrated and they borrowed it from the Greeks.

Here's one of the accepted reasons for April Fools in the western world. The move from the Julian to the Georgian calendar - the what to the what you ask? We don't have enough space to devote to the change in calendars, but suffice to say that New Year's used to be celebrated in March and when we switched to the Georgian calendar it was moved to January 1. But there were the detractors who refused to celebrate New Year's in January. These people were made fun of as Fools, thus the spring day was created just for them.

Well, that's just one theory.

April Fools Day can be seen as a traditional spring festival celebrated in many cultures and taking many different forms, from our April Fools Day to the Hindu "Holi" festival. It seems to be a holiday about fun and frivolity.

The English especially love this day and in 1698 took the hoax to a new level with tickets to the "Washing of the Lions" at the Tower (now that's a job you could die for). This tradition continued on well into the 19th century (the above ticket is for April 1st, 1857), and we continue celebrating pranks and hoaxes today.

Maybe people just go a bit crazy when Spring has sprung. Why do you think we celebrate April Fools Day? Do you think we are just sick of winter and need to cut loose a little bit? What kind of pranks have you pulled on someone or has someone done to you?

8 comments:

  1. I liked to see the historical example of "Washing of the Lions" because I hate April Fools jokes that have no effort put into them, so it's nice to hear ones of this caliber have seemingly always existed.
    There are April Fools jokes with serious effort put into them, usually done by big companies, and they're usually over-the-top silly like Google's gnome robot from this year, or they may be testing the waters for a new product, like Google's Cardboard some years ago. I also fall for some of them like a sucker year after year even though I'm aware of what day it is, like a jargon-filled article my friend sent me the other day about a supposed recent AI advance, or when companies and groups claim they've been bought out.
    But that last one starts to border on the kind of April Fools joke that annoys me: straight up lies. It's just lazy to tell someone a strange or disturbing revelation without any bit of funny absurdity or way of seeing through it. Especially when it's actually a disturbing truth and they didn't have the guts to say it otherwise (yes this happened to me); it's like waking up from a nightmare (realizing it's April Fools) only to end up inside of another.

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  2. I had no idea what the history of April Fools day was until now. Nowadays, I think we celebrate it as an excuse to have a little fun and get away with trouble. On this year's April Fools day, my sister scared the crap out of me as I opened the door to leave my room. She recorded my reaction as I screamed like a hammer fell on my feet. As a fan of pranks and comedy, I had a laugh about it. She got me. However, I think I went a little overboard with hanging some fake spiders from her room's ceiling. Or did I?

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  3. Ever since I was small as a child I always liked April fools and now that I know the history it is interesting. The only reason why we celebrate April fools is because of the history due to the calendar change. It is funny to think that the detractors were made fun of just because they refused to change the date for new years in January 1st. Now that I got use to the calendar, I would not like to have my New years in the spring it would not match the days and holidays. We should stick to the winter system for New Years. Due to cracking jokes on April Fools, I have been fooled because I believed my brother telling me that he lost my homework. I because very upset and did not know what to do until he said, "April fools." It was the worst felling ever, the only thing that I pictured was having a bad grade.

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  4. Before I read this I did not know anything behind the history of April Fools. I just thought it was a day were you played pranks on everyone. I also never really wondered why this came about, I just kind of went with the flow of it. After reading this little article I have a better understanding of April Fools and how it became of. I do want to watch the Washing of Lions now. I feel like not a lot of people know the real reason for April Fools. They just think it is a day to get away with pranks and no one can be upset or else you are not really celebrating this holiday. In my family the only reason we celebrate this holiday is because it is one of my cousins birthday. I think I am going to show him this article so he understands that the 1st of April does have a special background.

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  5. After reading this article I must say it was highly informative and taught me a lot about the history of April Fools Day. Before reading the article I didn't have too much understand or interest in the "holiday" however, in my 1 years of living I've only celebrated April Fools Day once. Being that my bestfriends birthday fall on the holiday, my friends and I played a major prank on her that consisted of putting 50 bouncy balls in her locker. It was the best prank I've ever done.

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  6. After reading, I just learned that the reason we do pranks on April Fools is because of the English. I believe it was quite creative of them to connect pranks and hoaxes with the traditional festival. People used pranks as a celebration for the Spring festival. Yet now 1st April is just a day for pranks and people seem to forget what it was for. For why people celebrate April Fools now, I believe it acts as an escape from reality. April Fools is the one day in the year when people can do whatever they want to, make jokes or pull pranks without being judged. I like April Fools as it marks the beginning of Spring and encourages people to have fun. However, I do not celebrate April Fools because sometimes people get carried away with the pranks they pull on people and it is not funny anymore.

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  7. I haven't thought about where or how April fool's day came from, but now I know about it little more. I still remember my favorite prank of April fool's day. My class had one of twins in our class, so we switched another one with our class mate. The teacher didn't recognize that she was not the right one, so we told her that the girl who took the class was not the our class mate. Both teachers of the girls were surprised and seemed frustrated a bit, but they laughed and told them to change the classroom. It was a story back in the time. Now I don't really care about it and any pranks make me laugh or trick me. Maybe I lost child's mind already.

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  8. I just got to know where does the April Fools Day come from even though I had that in my country, Japan. However, it differs from others. We don’t have any physical festivals or events for April Fools Day and it is not the holiday. But everyone loves to enjoy that on the internet, especially twitter. (Japanese are crazy at tweeting.)

    Recently, a lot of firms try to make interesting joke advertise or services, but they were so elaborated. For instance, one game company released spinoff App on 0:00 on April 1 and erased 11:59 pm of the same day. That App was amazing, it’s literally one game, not just for joking and it got No.1 in the downloading charts of the Apple App store in Japan. Most users wished to keep playing, but the company erased. I don’t know why they spent such many resources to create it, but it’s OK though it was much beyond the quality of the prank.

    On the other hand, I was actually pranked by some videos that were uploaded. There are three people, I call each of them A, B, and C, and all of them always upload videos on Youtube. They were Youtuber.
    A uploaded the video about that B caused some criminal incident; a violent incident and a prostitution. And C uploaded the video that he said he was a victim and explained how did B assault him. Then, B uploaded it was partly true, but too exaggerated so that B will prosecute them for defamation.

    All, all of them were “Fools”. Three guys were in the league. And all evidence and story flow were logical, I mean “too elaborated”. I cannot help believing that. After revealing that, I was so embarrassed.
    Is it funny? I don’t think so. I guess, in other countries, they are enjoying with the assumption that is fool and fools are in the range of joking. I prefer that.

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