History of April Fools’ Day

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Image/Graphics by Metro UK

We know modern-day April Fools to be much different than it previously has been.

April Fools’ Day: the day of impractical jokes and laughs. How did this fun-filled holiday start? Well, there are quite a few interesting theories and a couple of great pranks throughout history.  

Many historians have speculated that April Fools’ started in 1582 when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. In the Julian calendar, the new year started on April 1st, but when they switched to the Gregorian calendar, the new year was changed to January 1st. The people who were slow to the news and celebrated April 1 became the butt of the joke, who would then be called April fools. 

HIstorians also traced the Holiday back to Ancient Rome, where a festival called Hilaria took place at the end of March. This festival often involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens. 

Another theory is tied to the vernal equinox or the first day of spring. People believed it was Mother Nature’s way of tricking people with unpredictable weather. 

Rhino elected to the city council: In 1959, in Sao Paula Brazil, students were tired of the city’s overflowing sewers and inflated prices. The students decided to launch a campaign and elect a rhinoceros to their city council 

Prankster in a Bottle: In 1749, a London newspaper advertised an upcoming show: a man would squeeze his entire body into a wine bottle, and then he would sing while inside of it. The ad also promised others’ acts, like communicating with the dead. 

Legend has it the ad was a bet between the Duke of Portland and Earl of chesterfield. The Duke bet that he could advertise something impossible and still find “fools enough in London to fill a playhouse and pay handsomely for the privilege of being there.” He was right the night of the show, as every seat in the house was filled. But once no performer showed up, the audience rioted. 

Now that you know the origin of April Fools, which was a very, very long time ago, let’s discuss something more along the lines of modern-day April Fools’. Lately, people have played pranks on their friends or teachers. A good prank this year was what the WBTV crew did for their broadcast, but you’ll have to check it out on Warrior Watch to find out what they did.

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