The origins of April Fools Day!


April Fools Day, the best day to pull a prank on those you don’t like or even to the ones closest to you, just for the fun of it. In fact, it’s a day to pull pranks on everyone! Have you ever wondered though, how and when this controversial prank day first began?

Let's wrap it up for today
Let’s wrap it up for today
System update for April Fools Day
System update for April Fools Day

It’s origin traces back to Europe and there are many versions according to the place that claims the story. Two of these, however, are the most prevalent:

The first version says the custom was started by the Celts. People of northwestern Europe, the Celts were keen fishermen. The fishing season started on April 1. No matter how good they were, at this period of the year it was difficult to catch any fish. So, like the “code of conduct” commands the fishermen of all time, they lied about how many fish they had caught. This habit became a custom with the passing of time.

The second, which is considered more valid historically has France as the birthplace of the custom, on 16th century. Up to 1564 French people celebrated the New Year’s Day on April 1st. On this year though, and in the reign of Charles the ninth, that changed and New Year started on January 1st. At first the citizens weren’t happy with it. The reactionaries continued to celebrate the old date, meaning the New Year on April 1, while the rest sent them New Year’s gifts to make fun of them. The spoof was turned into a custom over time.

It's April! Not January!
It’s April! Not January!

In the past century, technology helped some to fool thousands of people on that particular day. For example, an American newspaper published an article (early 20th century), stating that Thomas Edison had invented a machine which could turn the water into wine. The shares of companies manufacturing and trafficking wine plummeted in stock.

Another example of high April Fools Day prank was that of the BBC network in 1957.  The network presented a story in which Italians farmers gathered spaghetti from trees that supposedly produced them. Nowadays similar reports continue in almost all media, most often touching important issues on economy, entertainment, etc. 

Honey! I'm going to pick some spaghetti!
Honey! I’m going to pick some spaghetti!

Stay alert today people!

By +Nikos Kontorigas


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