Who can we thank for April Fools Day?
April Fools Day also known as All Fool's Day is a day for pranks and shenanigans. It is the day of the year that jokesters all over the world wait for so they can launch the "perfect prank." If you end up being on the end of one of these pranks, well then unfortunately you are known as the "April Fool."
There have been many theories throughout the years as to how April Fool's Day came to be. One such theory is that is might have began in France. During the time of King Charles IX, there was a New Year's festival that was celebrated from March 25-April 1. At the end of the festival on April 1, people traded gifts. King Charles IX decided to change New Years day from April 1 to January 1. After the change, anyone who continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1 was called an "April Fool." Today in France the April Fool is called "Poisson d'Avril" or "April Fish." They have a prank they do where they sneak up and tape a picture of a fish on the back of someone and when that person figures out they have the picture on their back, they are laughed at and called "Poisson d'Avril."
Changes in the calendar of other countries could also be where the "April Fool" was spawned. The Hindus changed their calendar to the Holi. The Jewish people changed their calendar to the Purim. Pope Gregory XIII changed their calendar to reflect the Gregorian calendar and he also changed New Years day to Jan 1. There were also many festivals and celebrations that were celebrated for the change from winter to spring. The ancient Romans had a festival they celebrated on March 25 called the Hilaria. This was a celebration for the resurrection of a god named Attis.
There are many famous pranks that have been played on April Fools Day. One is called the "left handed Whoppers." In 1998, Burger King, ran an ad to advertise their "new left handed Whopper." This Whopper was made specifically for left handed people and designed so the condiments would drip out of the right side of the burger. People fell for it and went to Burger King to order this "new left handed Whopper." Of course you also had people asking for the "regular" Whopper.
There is also the Taco Liberty Bell prank. This prank became famous in 1996 when Taco bell ran an ad claiming to have bought the "Liberty Bell" to help the United States pay down its national debt. They said they were going to rename it the "Taco Liberty Bell." Of course, the White House press secretary at the time went along with the joke and said that the "Lincoln Memorial" had also been sold and was going to be renamed the "Lincoln Mercury Memorial."
In the 1950's a television station broadcast that the "Tower of Pisa" had fallen over. The station received numerous calls about that one.
In 2008 there was the "Three Dollar Coin." There was a story put out that the Canadian five dollar bill was going to be replaced with a "three dollar coin." It only made sense to call the "three dollar coin" a "threenie" since the one dollar coin was called a "loonie" and the two dollar coin was called a "toonie."
In 2005, NASA claimed to have found water on Mars and even posted a picture of it on their website. What a big disappointment when all people got to see was a picture of a glass of water sitting on top of a Mars candy bar.
Whether the turn of the season or a new calendar started the day known as April Fool's day, we may never know. We should just be thanking whoever did start it. What better than to have one day out of the year where you can play out the perfect joke and not get in trouble for it.
Fri, 03 Apr 2009 21:28:59 +0000
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