Tuesday, 19 March 2013 09:15

Too Cool for School – April Fools!!!

Written by  Kimberley Pounder
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dog_glasses

Time to break out the whoopee cushions, food colouring, superglue, false moustaches, rubber chickens and poker faces… It’s April Fools Day!

To learn more about the origins and traditions of this droll day, read more..!

 

Origins

 

There are quite a few different ideas as to where April Fools Day actually originated from!

 france_flag

One of the more popular theories is that in the 16th Century, France celebrated the New Year just like we do, but they held festivities on 1st April. Pope Gregory had different ideas and changed the calendar in 1562 so that France used the same as the rest of Europe and New Years became the 1st January.

pope_cartoon

Unfortunately, there were lots of people who didn’t learn about this change in time, and even some people who refused to accept the new date. These people continued to celebrate on 1st April and other people made fun of them for it, calling them ‘April fools’ and playing tricks on them.

snowdrop

 

winter

Other people think that April Fools Day was simply a way to celebrate the turn of the seasons from Winter to Spring and so light-hearted pranks were played as a way to show the dark mood of Winter had lifted!

Some believe that the origins of April Fools Day lies in the celebration of Sizdah Bedar dating back as far as 536 BC! This celebration is on the 13th day of the Persian New Year (Nowruz – ‘now’ for ‘new’ and ‘ruz’ for ‘day’) and is when Iranians play jokes on each other. It generally falls on April 1st or 2nd.

 

Traditions Around the World

 fish

In France and Italy children and adult tack paper fishes on to each other’s backs and shout ‘Poisson d’Avril!’ when the ‘fool’ finds out.

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It is traditional in England for tricks to only be played up until midday and if a trick is played on you then you are called a ‘noodle’!

 

cuckoo

 

In Scotland you are called an ‘April Gowk’ as in Scotland April Fools Day is known as ‘Hunt-the-Gowk Day’. A ‘gowk’ is a Scots term for a cuckoo or a foolish person. The traditional ‘Hunt-the-Gowk’ prank involves asking someone to deliver a sealed message requesting some help, however the message will read as follows: Dinna laugh, dinna smile. Hunt the gowk another mile. The recipient will then explain he/she can only help if another person is contacted and sends the poor victim to this person with an identical message.

flour

 

In Portugal April Fools is celebrated on the Sunday and Monday prior to Lent and pranksters usually throw flour at their friends.

 

Top 100 Hoaxes of All Time

Now you know a little more about where April Fools Day (may!) have come from, check out the following site for 100 of the best hoaxes throughout history!

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

 

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