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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Do You Know the Origination of April Fool's Day?




If you answered 'no' don't feel bad because there isn't anyone who knows the answer to this question.  I'm going to try to give you a bit of information I found on the subject.  There were references to April Fool's Day in the 1500's, but they were vague and ambiguous.  It wasn't until 1708 a correspondent wrote to the British Apollo magazine asking, "Whence proceeds the custom of making April Fools? 

The most popular theory involves the French calendar reform of the 16th century.  It is said in 1564 France reformed its calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1.  Those who felled to keep up with the change, who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them.  Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs.  The victims of this prank were thus called Poisson d'Avril, or April Fish --which, to this day remains the French term for April Fools -- and so the tradition was born.  This does not seem like a plausible theory though.

The British calendar change seems to be the more plausible theory.  It was the British who observed New Year's Day on March 25 (the date of the Christian Feast of Annunciation), followed by a week of festivities culminating on April 1.  Britain changed the start of its calendar year January 1 in 1752. 

The possible first reference to April Fool's Day may be in the Nun's Priest's Tale by Chaucer written around 1392.  This reference is not clear and is a matter of interpretation.  There are many other references to April Fool's Day by other poets such as Eloy d'Amerval (1508) and Eduard de Dene (1561).

There are many interesting tales about April Fool's Day, but not enough time to tell all of them.   


In 1983, Joseph Boskin told an Associated Press reporter that the idea came from Roman jesters during the time of Constantine I in the third and fourth centuries A.D.  Supposedly, jesters successfully petitioned the ruler to allow one of their elected members to be king for a day.  So, on April 1st, Constantine handed over the reins of the Roman Empire for one day to King Kugel, his jester.  Kugel decreed that the day forever would be a day of absurdity. 

More information can be found at this link:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080328-april-fools/

Believe it, or not, I wrote a story for April Fool's Day titled, A Fool's Fool.  It's about a company who makes gags or tricks to play on people.  It's a fun-filled sweet contemporary romance for just about any age. 

Tag:  All's Fair in Love and War

When practical jokes in the office go a little too far, all kinds of accidents can happen.

 Even Falling in Love.


 

Have fun on April Fool's Day!  I plan to play a prank on my hubby that day before he plays one on me.  lol

14 comments:

Paris said...

Sandy,

When I was a kid, April Fool's jokes were just silly little pranks and a fun way to slide into Spring.I don't think they've changed much but since we don't have little ones in the house anymore, but knowing kids, I think the pranks are still around. Thanks for the informative post!

Sandy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Paris. Big kids play pranks, too. lol

jean hart stewart said...

A fun and informative post....Thanks, Sandy....

Tina Donahue said...

Cool post, Sandy - thanks for sharing. :)

Janice Seagraves said...

Happy April Fools!

Good luck with your release. How appropriate for this time of the year with April First nearly here. :)

Janice~

Cara Marsi said...

Sandy, this is very interesting. Thanks for the info. I didn't know the origins of April Fool's Day. My siblings and I used to play little jokes on our parents on April Fool's Day.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Jean and Tina.

Sandy said...

Hi Janice,
That particular book has been out a while, but when it was published it was for April Fool's Day. Smile!

Sandy said...

Hi Cara,
I didn't really get into April Fool's Day until I married my husband. lol He's definitely a prankster.

Marianne Stephens said...

Learned something new...never even thought about where April Fool's day had its origins.

Melissa Keir said...

I am dreading how the children will be on April Fool's Day. They certainly need no special date to act like silly geese!

Thank you for the information. I didn't know how it became into being. I think your hubby better watch out.

Sandy said...

Marianne, I didn't either, but I asked myself the question and was surprised there was no real answer.

Melissa, I hope the children surprise you and behave well on April Fool's Day.

Rose Anderson said...

Great post! I need to think up a prank for hubby...

Berls said...

How interesting! I assumed that it was somehow linked to the Feast of Fools celebrated during the Middle Ages (though I suppose it still could be), but these explanations are fascinating! Thanks for sharing :)

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