April Fool’s Day is centered on playfulness and practical jokes, and is celebrated around the world. In anticipation of April 1st, pranksters the world over prepare outrageous costumes and elaborate jokes to mark the occasion. Although most of the world celebrates the holiday, very few know much about the birth of All Fool’s Day.
Much confusion exists surrounding the birth of this holiday. Some credit Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, written in 1392 with the birth of April Fool’s Day, but that explanation is least likely for a variety of historical reasons; many of the tales of the birth of April Fool’s Day, are themselves April Fool’s pranks!
Others believe the day was born by the refusal of traditionalists to accept the new Gregorian Calendar. This calendar begins the new year on January 1st instead of April 1st, the start of the new year under the Julian Calendar. Those who refused sometimes were referred to as, “fools” and often were the butt of many jokes.
The confusion about how this day came to be doesn’t stop people all over the world from playing pranks and fooling friends and family. Because April Fool’s is all about jokes, pranks and general tomfoolery, you shouldn’t be surprised to see the most eager revelers dressed as court jesters.
Although costumes aren’t always part of this playful holiday, the most enthusiastic pranksters will dress foolishly. Whether it’s dressing as their favorite “fool” in history or donning a costume as the prank itself, fools of April go to great lengths for laughs on this day. Because they add an extra dose of fun, all pranksters know that a great prank requires commitment, and what says “I’m totally committed to this joke” than the perfect April Fool’s costume?
Out of ideas for pranks? A common joke is to send an unsuspecting subject on a wild goose chase for an obscure item. Other pranks include sending mislabeled invitations to friends, making grand announcements that are untrue (I’m marrying the King of England!), or old school favorites like whoopee cushions.
The point is to have fun and play jokes on those closest to you. Whether this funny day got its start because of a new calendar or Chaucer, it’s a great excuse to prank just about anyone!