1 Apr 2010


I don't know how many of you out there 'celebrate' April the 1st otherwise known as April Fool's Day? My research seems to suggest not many unless you happen to live here in the UK or France.

For those of you not in the know .....

It is believed that this event started way back in the 1500's when the GREGORIAN calendar took over from the JULIAN and those who forgot this change and attempted to celebrate New Year (previously April 1st) on the wrong day were teased as April's Fools - gobs/gawbys/gobbys as they were known in England OR 'gowks' (Scottish for cuckoo) if you lived in Scotland.

Tradition has it that on this day harmless, practical jokes were played on your nearest and dearest though exactly how and why this joke playing came about is shrouded in mystery.

At least that's one theory.

Another seems to be that the timing of this day of pranks is related to the arrival of Spring when natures 'fools' mankind with strange weather patterns OR yet another suggests it originates with the Romans end-of winter celebration, Hilaria.

Wherever and whenever the custom began, it has, over time, evolved it's own lore and set of 'rules'. Superstition has it that all pranking end 12 noon and any jokes played after that time will bring bad luck to the perpetrator.

Not all these superstitions are negative though - men 'fooled' by a fair maiden are said to be fated to marry her.

But what about today's generation of April Fools?

Arguably one of the best known, media-generated, Fool's Day pranks of all time dates from a news report aired in the 1950's which claimed that due to Spring being early that year, the SPAGHETTI HARVEST in Switzerland was also early. View this superbly hilarious video by clicking HERE.

Enough of April Fool's though - April 1st is also a cause for celebration for my good friend Ruth who celebrates her birthday on this day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUTH.


Vivienne said...

I don't think I have ever played an April Fools joke on anyone. I am too nice.

Heather said...

I never even considered that someone might take my post yesterday as an April fools joke. Its not.

....Petty Witter said...

Only joking Heather, only joking.

Kissed by an Angel said...

Happy Birthday Ruth! I don't generally bother with April Fools jokes!! I'd assist if required though!!!

Heather said...

I like your post today. I have never considered 'why' we have an april's fools day. I do remember my sister putting food colour in our milk one year and another she switched the sugar for salt. it was beware to the coffee drinkers. Can't recall that I have been a big jokester at all. our newspaper has posted some funny stories in the past, this year they chose to relate some past jokes.

Kelly said...

I've detested April Fool's Day since I was a child. Not that I don't love a good joke and have a great sense of humor.... but so often pranks are done at another's expense and that's always bothered me. Sometimes they can get cruel.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

When I was a little child my friends and I used to bother each other with April Fool's jokes.
I nteresting post!
Thanks for sharing!
Betty xx

susan s. said...

Childhood was the time for April Fools' day for us.

Now, not so much. Maybe when I'm in my dotage it will be funny again.

Dorte H said...

We don´t do much in Denmark, but there are always people (mostly children and journalists) who try to fool their surroundings.

One of my co-editors of a Danish writers´ blog changed the language setting of the blog from Danish to Bulgarian (looks like Russian), and we received some funny emails yesterday. And of course we pretended that they were the only ones whose computers were affected.

JACQUI said...

Darn, I missed it again. I love the idea of April Fools day. It's just a bit of fun.

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