The Origin of April Fools’ Day

March 31, 2010 at 12:38 am 1 comment

Tomorrow is Tom Foolery’s birthday. Well, not exactly, but you should be suspicious if someone is serving cake.

Your spouse or roommate may hide your keys, unscrew all the light bulbs or take the batteries out of the TV remote. Maybe Google will have another ruse about free printing or postdated emails. No matter who pranks you tomorrow, you’ll want to know how it all started.

April 1st is “April Fools’ Day” in many countries around the world. In some countries such as the UK, Australia and South Africa, the jokes end at noon. Someone who plays a joke after noon is considered an “April Fool.” In North America, Brazil and much of Eastern and Southern Europe, the jokes last all day.

The shenanigans can be traced back as far as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392). The tale is set “Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two.” It was supposed to mean 32 days after March (May 2nd) which is the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. But, readers misunderstood it as March 32nd, which of courses doesn’t exists and was interpreted as April 1st. In the tale, Chauntecler is tricked by a fox.

Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote in 1539 about a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1st and in 1698, people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed.”

During the middle ages, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending April 1st in some part of France. It is thought that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1st made fun of those who celebrated on other dates.

Now it’s your turn, you’ve got plenty of time to think up a good prank for tomorrow.

Broken Secrets

Written By: Chad Upton

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Sources: Wikipedia

Entry filed under: Demystified. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Soni Singh  |  May 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    What a fun Ha Ha Ha ha. .

    Reply

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