Are You Being Foolish Today?

April Fools' Day, All Fools' Day, Pranks, JokesEvery year, April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1st. Typically, the day is known for playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. People expose their practical jokes by shouting out “April Fool.” This is not a popular celebration and no one seems to know why it is observed on April 1 instead of some other month. It is noted that The Canterbury Tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1392 contains the first recorded association between April 1st and the known foolishness that takes place on this day. The custom to play these pranks (completely harmless by the way) is recognized everywhere.

In Scotland, April Fools’ Day was traditionally called “Huntigowk Day.” In Poland, prima aprilis (“1 April” in Latin) is a day in which many jokes are told; various hoaxes are prepared by people, media (which sometimes cooperate to make the “information” more credible) and even public institutions. Serious activities are usually avoided.

In Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, the April 1st tradition is often known as “April fish” (poissons d’avril in French or pesce d’aprile in Italian). This includes attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back, without being noticed. In Romania, an April Fool joke is revealed by shouting “Pacaleala de 1 Aprilie!” at the recipient, who becomes the “April fool”, which means “April 1 hoax!”

So be on your P’s and Q’s today, because you never know what to expect. Happy April Fools’ Day!

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