Hello Dear Readers!!
It’s April 1st, known to all practical jokesters as April Fools Day! So being a history nerd I had to look up the holiday to find out where it came from?
To be honest from the little research I’ve done there doesn’t seem to be an exact reason for the day. But, according to the different sources I referenced The holiday actually had a couple of precursors dating back to an Ancient Roman holiday called Hilaria and then in the Medieval times there was a holiday called Feast of Fools.
The date of April 1st however as the all important day of tricking your fellow-man has a couple of different origins. Some believe it came from the Iranians who like to play jokes on the 13th day of the Persian Calendar. Which happens to fall on April 1 or 2nd of our calendar. Other’s take it back to a piece of literature written by Chaucer. You may have heard of it. It’s a little known work of his called, The Canterbury’s Tale. In the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, Chaucer makes reference to the anniversary of an engagement between King Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia. However, as most things that happen in History the reference was mistranslated and the date should have been in May instead of April.
Of course, unless you like history some of this is probably very boring to you. So I will skip to some of the interesting traditions I found out about from other countries.
One tradition that seemed a little strange to me is that in places such as France, Italy, and Belgium they like to put paper fish on the backs of unsuspecting people and yell April Fish in their respective languages. Hmm…do you think that is the origins of the kick me signs I used to see on people’s backs in high school?
Well enough of the history lesson. I shall leave you with a video of pranks I found on Youtube.
Happy April Fools!