The History of April Fools’ Day
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Exact origins of the fools’ holiday are unknown, but it has been celebrated for many centuries by several different cultures. The most common link to April Fools’ Day is when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Some failed to receive the news, and continued to celebrate the New Year according to their old calendar. Those people became the butt of the joke, and many would play pranks on them such as placing paper fish on their backs, which came to symbolize the “April Fish.” The April Fish was someone who was young and gullible.
Another potential origin for April Fools’ Day links back to Roman times with the celebration of the festival Hilaria. This holiday involved people dressing up and pulling pranks on one another. (And ‘hilarious’ also comes from this ancient word, meaning cheerful).
Despite the controversy of origins, the holiday became popular in Britain in the 18th century; it began with simple pranks such as pinning paper on someone’s back that read “Kick Me.” Today, in America for example, it has become a larger holiday, with even large corporations taking part in the fun. For instance, Taco Bell announced they were going to buy the Liberty Bell and rename it “The Taco Liberty Bell.” BBC released an article of record spaghetti crops in Switzerland, even creating a fake video that fooled viewers around the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVo_wkxH9dU. ESPN also has fooled their viewers on April first, along with Sports Illustrated, Burger King and The Howler Newspaper. Bet you can’t find all of the Howler’s Fools’ articles!!