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Thursday, January 14, 2016

April Fool's Day at butt end of practical joke

Did someone tape a “kick me” sign on your back or give you a bug in an ice cube? Everyone at some point or other has been at the butt end of a practical joke on April Fool's Day. What would possess people to dedicate one day of the year of pulling practical jokes on one another? The origins of April Fools Day are interesting and expand far beyond America. From the United States, to New Zealand, to England and France, to as far away as Australia and Iran, people look forward to the holiday of jokes. Indeed, it is an international tradition that dates back to the BC years.

April Fool's Day of pranks may date back to 536 BC, the thirteenth day of the Persian War, which was either April 1 or April 2. On this day, the Iranians have a festivity of pranks.

But perhaps the April Fool's Day holiday did not start to gain “official recognition” until the reign of Charles IX. During this time, France switched from the Roman calendar, which celebrated New Years from the last week of March to April 1, to the Gregorian calendar, which denoted January 1 as New Years. Since communication was a bit slow back then, those who didn’t catch on became the butt end of jokes. They were often sent on “fool’s errands” or invited to parties that didn’t exist. The victims became known as poissond'avril, or literally April Fish. This referred to baby fish, easily caught or more gullible than the player of the joke.

It is interesting to note that the infamous “Kick me” sign originated in Scotland with spoofs of the rear-end indicating April Fool's Day trending in society. The holiday is known as April Gowk, also known as cookoo bird. In Portugal, the jokes take a turn, with people throwing flour at their friends on the Sunday and Monday before Lent.

One thing is for certain regarding April Fool's Day. Whether someone throws flour at you, posts a “kick me” sign on your back, pins a paper fish to your rear-end, or puts Icy Hot on your toilet seat, you are the victim of an April Fools’ joke. Despite cultural differences, the people of many countries throughout the world can agree that this a day of laughter and good-hearted fun.

So you are HAPPY April Fool's Day, Are you not?

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