April Fools Day History
April Fools Day is that one day in the year when it seems that most boundaries can be crossed without major consequences. April Fools Day dates back to ancient times and since antiquity people have been pulling pranks on each other. Before your next prank take a look at the 10 most important facts about April Fools history.
- April Fools Day History in Antiquity: The traditional celebration date of April 1st has its origins in ancient Roman, Hindu and other European cultures. These ancients celebrated the New Year around the vernal, or spring, equinox which occurred during the last week of March and the first week of April.
- Jokes and the gods: Most ancient spring equinox fextivals centered around a deity and people would play pranks and camouflage themselves in lavish get-up. Scaring people from behind trees and throwing rotten cabbage was not unheard of.
- Blame It on the Pope: April Fools day history would change forvever when Pope Gergory XIII implemented the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Like many pagan tradiitons and holidays the celebrations remained.
- The French Get Taken: The French were among many people who fought the idea of a calendar change and monks of the church would send trouble makers on "fool's errands" as payback. So the church may be primarily responsible for the modern foolishness that abounds.
- The Colonies Get Foolish: French, English and Scottish settlers brought the practices with them to the new world. Scottish April Fools day history is a strange one in particular. They refer to it as "Tailey Day" and many of the pranks have to do with the buttocks.
- The Greatest April Fools Day History Pranks: The Museum of Hoaxes has rated the "spaghetti prank" put on by the BBC in 1957 as the best prank in April Fools Day history. The report stated that Switzerland was in the midst of a banner spaghetti harvest. Phone calls came into BBC from serious callers asking where they could buy spaghetti trees.
- Mind the Clock: By true Aprils Fools day standards pranks are supposed to end by noon and any conducted after that time are to bring bad luck to the prankster. This is extremely important by ancient standards and other people would avoid the late pranksters because they beleived they were cursed.
- The Vikings Did It Too: Norsemen celebrated their prank day onboard their boats and any pranks were blamed on Loki, the norse god of treachery and trickery. The angry Norse would then try to find Loki on board the boat. By the time they came back from their hunt empty-handed another prank had been plated.
- A Fruity Tradition: On April 1st, 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple. American forces landed on the Japanese island of Okinawa in 1945. The first US weather satellite was launched on April Fools Day in 1960.
- Slaughter and Jests: Mexico's celebration has a different take of April Fools day history and is celebrated on December 28th. Originally meant to commemorate the children killed by King Herod in the famous bible story. The celebration has since laxed a bit in custom and the pranks start early!