Today is April Fool’s Day. So, remember to trust no one. And don’t believe anything you’re told either!
Watch out your every step, because you don’t want the fool’s tag accompanying you for the rest of the year!
Of course, when the tables turn and you are the one pulling the prank, be ready for some angry words.
It is rather appropriate that April Fool’s Day — that time of the year devoted to pulling pranks and having fun — has an interesting history.
No one is quite sure how April Fools’ Day started, though it is celebrated globally.
Most believe the day, which is marked on April 1, has something to do with the changing of the seasons and celebrations of the end of the dark days of winter and welcoming the warmer spring season.
Ancient Romans, Persians and Hindus all had holidays set aside for frivolity, including pranks, costumes and masks.
Others say it had to do with a change in year 1500 that moved New Year’s Day from the end of March to January 1, “fooling” those who were used to the original calendar.
According to reports, one of the earliest first recorded instance of April 1 as Fool’s Day was in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian, altering the start date of the new year.
Some people didn’t make the change, however, and over time, people started making fun of those who didn’t observe the new start of the year, and would send them on “fool’s errands”, which is how, the practice of April Fools’ day caught on.
The fun grew in the 1700s, when English pranksters popularised the tradition of April Fools by playing tricks on others in what was referred to as “All Fools’ Day.”
Other instances link April Fools’ Day to ancient Roman festival Hilaria, where people would dress up in disguises and enjoy the spring.
Others say the April Fool’s Day is left over from the idea of “renewal festivals” marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
The festivals apparently involved those taking part donning disguises, playing tricks on friends and strangers, and causing chaos.
In Roman mythology Pluto, the God of the Dead, abducted Proserpina and brought her to live with him in the underworld.
Proserpina called to her mother Ceres for help, but she could only hear the echo of her daughter’s voice. She searched in vain.
Some say the fruitless search was the basis for the ‘fool’s errands’.
Today, April Fools’ Day is embraced by young and old alike, with the corporate world getting into the fun, too.