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?

20 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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  9. I never really knew the history behind April Fools and where it came from. Before reading this article I thought that it was just a made up holiday that people used as an excuse to play practical jokes on people. April Fools is a fun way to get out of the sad winter and bring out the happy spring and summer vibes. I think that it is a cool idea and knowing the history behind the holiday it makes it more fun, and gets a little laugh out of everyone and is a way for everyone to lighten up.

    I have never really personally played an April Fools joke on someone because I just cannot seem to be creative enough and think of something funny. A small joke that got our soccer team to laugh a little, our soccer coach said we would be running and doing sprints the whole two hours of practice, but ended up joking with us and it ended up being one of the more fun practices.

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  10. I think we celebrate April Fool's Day because some people think it's funny just to have this holiday and some people really like pulling pranks and jokes on others. I've never really thought about it before, but it makes sense that April Fool's Day could be used to celebrate spring (as long as the pranks aren't too mean). One prank I played when I was younger was I told some friends there were (to my memory) cows on the ceiling. In terms of pranks in general, my little brother likes to prank me by saying something I think is true and shortly after say he's "just kidding!"

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  11. I never really put much thought into why we have April fool's Day. It is interesting to know that there is actual history of why it is a holiday. It seemed that the people back then were pretty into April fools, I wonder if people ever fell for them. I think that there are a lot of people that like to celebrate April Fool's Day, it is an opportunity to have fun and be silly. I have never pulled a prank on anyone, that is because I can never think what would be a good prank to do on someone. No one ever pulled a prank on me, I never really fell for them because I knew that it was April Fool's day so I was careful of what to believe.

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  12. All of us live a hectic life. From the children in kindergarten to the senior citizens that worry about their pension plans, all of us live an overwhelming life. As human beings we enter a malicious loop of ever-ending worries. Celebrating April's fools day might be one of the best solutions for all these worries.
    Spring is often referred to as a time of change. When leaves turn brown and the cool winds turn into the hot screeching loos.As a coincidence, being a part of spring, the april fool's day calls for people to fool around with other people.A mere change of activities, where people try to prank other people. I remember one such time when some of my friends told me we had a surprise math quiz and told me that it was worth 50% of our grades. I was up all night studying for my test and next day when I showed up to class, I was really mad at my friends. I guess such change of events our such episodes can never be forgotten by people in their lives. These memories leech onto our brains and we often cherish these.

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  13. I never really thought about how April Fools day started. This article gave me a few theories and its interesting to see different theories of how April Fools became so famous. I believe we had April fools day just to relax and welcome the spring. I do think April fools day is a day for people to cut loose and distract them for a while(unless your joke hurts someone). The worst prank someone did to me was when I was at the restaurant with my dad and brother, and my brother decided to loosen the salt cap and when I was going to put salt on my food it spilled all over my food. I was so mad because I had to reorder my food because it had way to much salt.

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  14. I think people celebrate April Fool's Day as a way of celebrating friendship with some Tom Foolery. It gives a sense of carelessness that before going into the warm weather of summer to start the season off with a joyful feeling. As for the pranks, the harmless ones are really appreciated, and reading about said pranks on the internet can really brighten someones day. Such as the one where kids released 4 pigs at school which were numbered 1,2,3,5 so the faculty just ran around looking for number four.
    My favorite prank though, has to belong with filling a principles room FULL of packing peanuts. Pretty harmless, but absolutely annoying!

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  15. I remember that in my french class, April fools day was a day meant for good fun. A day that people can purposely do things that otherwise might make themselves look silly, or even mean. In french tradition, kids in school were essentially challenged to tape a piece of paper in the shape of a fish to someones back without them noticing. Now they would walk around school all day with a fish on their back, and everyone would know that they got pranked, and maybe even have a laugh. But unlike any other day, when you come to school the next day, you're not going to be upset or mad at whoever pranked you. You're going to think, Ha-Ha! He got me! Rather than saying, why did you do that? That's weird. April Fools day is a healthy way to flip things on its head and have a little fun in todays world.

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  16. I never really put much thought into the idea about how April Fool's day started. Now that I think about it, I feel like we celebrate it because it's a day to remind everyone not to take everything so seriously. To cut loose a little bit and have fun. I remember a couple years ago I pranked my younger brother back after he put mayonnaise in the conditioner bottle the night before. The next morning I put laxatives in his morning coffee and made myself a cup without the laxatives so it didn't look suspicious. About an hour later he yelled my name to bring him more toilet paper because he ran out but I told him we had no more. I don't know what he did after because I left to school, but he was mad at me for the rest of the day. I do not regret a thing though. It was hilarious and worth it!

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  17. Honestly, I feel like many people don't actually celebrate April Fool's Day because there's not much propaganda for it,people actually don't make a big deal of it, it's a day that can be easily forgotten. The people that do celebrate, it's a way for them to loosen up or do something out of their routine like doing a prank on someone.When I was younger, I pranked my mother, well I always was the type to prank her but that day it was April Fool's Day so I had a motive to do so.In the house that we use to live in, we had stairs so when she sent me to go up and get her purse, I thought it would be hilarious to act like I fell down the stairs. I threw her purse down the stairs so she could hear, I rushed down the stairs, laid in the floor and when she came she was so worried and tried to pick me up. She was asking questions of what had happened, and I acted like I broke my arm too but then just confessed because she was getting too worried and wanted to take me to get checked up.

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  18. I personally never really celebrated April Fools day. I never put thought into it either. I always just saw April Fools as a day to not take people seriously because they love to joke around especially on that day. I believe that it is just an excuse to mess around with people and have fun. Some people take it over board though and do things that are not to mess with. I remember in third grade a friend told me her mom passed away and that she had to live with her grandma. In my innocence I believed her and she started crying. I spent all day trying to comfort her by being nice and sharing my snacks and dessert after lunch. Little did I know that her mom was perfectly healthy. She told me at the end of the day that it was an April Fools joke. I did not like it and after that experience I make sure not to take anything too seriously on April 1st. I think we celebrate it as a break from reality. The world is a scary and sad place at times and I guess people like to just have fun and do pranks for a laugh.

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  19. April fools day to me never had any rhyme or reason, there are so many reason it came about and could be different in other cultures. I think it is just a way to have fun, it gives people an excuse to play pranks on each other. The world is not always a good place, and it could give people some comic relief from their maybe sad and boring lives. I never really celebrated April fools day, because it was a touchy subject in my house. My father played a joke on my mom and she always resented that day for it. He was asked to get a spider in the morning and she left for work, upon coming back there was a note. It said that the spider bit him and he was at the hospital, and she did not turn the note over which told her it was April fools day. She then proceeded to go to multiple hospitals to try and find him and he was not there, so from then on April fools day was always a bad day. I was then warned never to play jokes on her so I never really participate.

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  20. I personally didn't know how April fools day came about until I read this article. There are multiple reason for why this day became a holiday. I think that the people just wanted a day to have fun and not worry about their reality. I do not get in to the spirit of April fools. Although one year my mom did prank me really good. Other then that, April fools day is not for me.

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