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March 21, 2012

2012 April Fool’s Day: History, Common Traditions and Practices

April Fool’s Day which is called All Fool’s Day as well, unlike most of other holidays that with a exact history, that is to say, the history of April Fool’s Day is not that clear. So what is the origin of April Fool’s Day?

The history of April Fool’s Day
Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year’s Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the New Year. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian calendar) to replace the old Julian calendar. The new calendar called for New Year’s Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year’s Day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on “fool’s errands” or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.

April Fool’s Day around the World
April Fool’s Day is a “for-fun-only” observance. It’s simply a fun little holiday, but a holiday on which one must remain forever vigilant, for he may be the next April Fool!
In France today, April 1st is called Poisson d’Avril, which means April Fish. Children tape paper fish to their friends’ backs and when the young “fool” finds out, the prankster yells “Poisson d’Avril!” In England, tricks can only be played in the morning. If a trick is played on you, you are a “noodle.” In Scotland, you are called an “April gowk,” which is another name for a cuckoo bird. In Portugal, April Fools’ is celebrated on the Sunday and Monday before Lent. Pranksters usually throw flour at their friends.

Traditions of April Fool’s Day
Practical jokes are a common practice on April Fool’s Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool’s Day was a fairly detailed documentary about “spaghetti farmers” and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.
Practices include sending someone on a “fool’s errand,” looking for things that don’t exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.

Download April Fool’s Day Pranks videos and learn how to play a trick on the victims, LOL…

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