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April Fools’ Day: 10 Facts To Remember

01/04/2015

“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.” Charles Lamb

April Fools' Day: 10 Facts To Remember - Subway Prank

April Fools’ Day: 10 Facts To Remember – Subway Prank

 

April Fools' Day: 10 Facts To Remember - Subway Prank

April Fools’ Day: 10 Facts To Remember – Subway Prank

Poor Robin’s Almanac, 1790
The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool’s Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.

While April Fools’ Day was popularized in the 19th century (or 18th in the UK), its origins are somewhat vague. Historians continue to debate whether it started as early as 1392 because of a mention in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, or if it started later with the Gregorian Calender. What  we know for sure is that it is celebrated around the world and the customs around it, while different in some parts of the world, all focus on pranks and humor. For instance, the joking/pranks end at noon in the UK. After that time, the joke becomes a sign of your foolishness. Hm mm.  Nevertheless, here are 10 Facts to help you understand the genesis of this day of pranks and humor.

1. It has a writer’s touch because in 1392  Geoffrey Chaucer’s invented a Fool’s Day in The Canterbury Tales and it quickly grew popular with the aristocracy; they were the only ones who could read.

2. It has religious underpinnings  because in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII adopted the Gregorian Calendar switching the beginning of the year from the Julian Calendar starting in April to his which started in January. He did it to confuse his detractors from remembering what date he promised to step down.

3. Historians believe April Fools’ Day started with the  ancient festivals known as Hilarious. It was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and  people wore gender bender clothing to confuse others

4. April Fools’ Day was connected  to the vernal equinox/first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mothers in ancient times  threatened to give their kids away.

 

  “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.” William Shakespeare

April Fools' Day: 10 Facts To Remember - Wash the Lions Prank

April Fools’ Day: 10 Facts To Remember – Wash the Lions Prank

 

April Fools' Day: 10 Facts To Remember - Wash the Lions Prank

April Fools’ Day: 10 Facts To Remember – Wash the Lions Prank

A fool may be known by six things: anger without cause; speech without profit; change without progress; inquiry without object; putting trust in a stranger; and mistaking foes for friends. Arabian Proverb

Did you know that April Fools’ Day is taken seriously in parts of the world as people try to top each other with their inventiveness? In Ireland, the innocent fool is sent on errands with an “important letter’ that contains nothing of the sort but a joke. Over the years, TV stations and the general media have contributed to the hilarity of the day.

5. The first recorded prank happened on April 1 1698 when a popular paper (Dawks’s News-Letter) reported that “several persons were sent to the Tower [of London] Ditch to see the Lions washed.”  When people arrived, they found sea lions being washed instead.

6. April Fools’ Day was celebrated  in Scotland with a 2 day event/tradition called  “hunting the gowk,”  in which people dressed up as birds and hiding in bushes, they would jump out to surprise passersby with flapping wings and gawking sounds.

7. The earliest media prank was in 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers  had discovered a special kind of cheese that grew on a tree. They showed footage and many people were fooled.

More Below!

“Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: It’s good to be silly at the right moment.” Horace

April Fools' Day: 10 Facts To Remember - Bus Prank

April Fools’ Day: 10 Facts To Remember – Bus Prank

Myra Cohn Livingston
The maple syrup’s full of ants.
A mouse is creeping on the shelf.
Is that a spider on your back?
I ate the whole pie by myself.
The kitchen sink just overflowed.
A flash flood washed away the school.
I threw your blanket in the trash.
I never lie—-I—

Over the years, shows with a surprise or humorous element have come and gone. Shows like This is Your Life, Candid Camera with Allen Funt, and Punk’ed with Ashton Kutcher, kept people riveted to their TV sets and loving every minute of the shows. There were many others that came and went mainly because of the legal ramifications of invading other people’s privacy with inane jokes.  Most of these shows gained traction from or gave inspiration to other prank moments in the media.

8. In 1985, Sports Illustrated ran a prank article about a female rookie pitcher named Sandra Finch who could throw a fastball over 188 miles per hour. They even had a picture of her.

9. In 1996, fast-food restaurant chain,Taco Bell, announced it was in discussions to buy The Statue of Liberty and would rename it – The Statue of Taco Freedom. People were riled up in NY until they learned it was an April Fools’ Day joke.

10. In 1998, Burger King advertised a “Super Dupper Whopper” that was 2 feet tall. May regulars wee stoked and lined up to order one… They soon learned it was an April Fools’ Day prank. Ha!

So on this very special, limited day of jokes and pranks, it helps to have a sense of humor.  What do you think? Do you have any to share? Happy April Fools Day!  Scroll to the bottom for some more jokes to enjoy

More Below

APRIL FOOLS’ DAY!

Yep, you’ve been punk’ed! Do you know the right answers?  If YES, Share the right answers in the comment section. If NO, Come back later for the real answers to my 10 Facts list.  😆 😆 :mrgreen:

Positive Motivation Tip: Have a good laugh, now and again, it’s great for your health

REFERENCES: About.com, WP Daily Post TechTimes  History.com,
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos: Lars Anderson Subway, washing the lions, triple decker bus prank, from Wikipedia.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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63 Comments leave one →
  1. Ben Butler permalink
    01/04/2015 3:02 pm

    This is a REALLY cool article. I’ve always wondered where this holiday came from. Thanks for the interesting read.

    Like

  2. Masshole Mommy permalink
    01/04/2015 3:29 pm

    LOL, I totally forgot about that Taco Bell Statue of Liberty prank. People were so upset about that.

    Like

  3. Catherine S permalink
    01/04/2015 4:56 pm

    This is great information. I am pretty much assuming that anything posted online today could be a trick. I have never played any April Fool’s tricks.

    Like

  4. Ricci permalink
    01/04/2015 5:38 pm

    Oh April Fool’s Day…great memories!! I used to love Punked!!

    Like

  5. Jeanine permalink
    01/04/2015 5:48 pm

    Neat to learn about but I’ve never been a fan of April Fools. I find people get a bit carried away and I get annoyed really easily! I’m glad it’s only once a year!

    Like

  6. jenniferjuro permalink
    01/04/2015 6:20 pm

    I never would have thought to look at the history of April fools!! I was able to get my kids good this morning for the first time!

    Like

  7. Cassie @ Southeast by Midwest permalink
    01/04/2015 6:33 pm

    I didn’t realize April Fools Day had such a long and storied history. Really puts the modern Internet pranks into perspective.

    Like

  8. listen2mama permalink
    01/04/2015 8:24 pm

    Great fun post for April Fool’s Day…I’ll have to come back and check the answers.

    Like

  9. 01/04/2015 9:00 pm

    Thank you Elizabeth for putting all these together. Most of us, me included, just know about the pranks but don’t really know why we have April Fool’s Day. It’s always good to know.

    Like

  10. Carly Anderson (@lipglosscrayons) permalink
    01/04/2015 9:59 pm

    I forgot all morning that it was April Fools day!!! What great info!

    Like

  11. roselynn787 permalink
    01/04/2015 10:44 pm

    I had no idea there were so many recorded pranks throughout history. This was such a fun read for April Fools Day. I’ll have to come back to check the real answers later!

    Like

  12. 01/04/2015 10:47 pm

    Ahh so funny, I love the triple decker bus!

    Like

  13. Amy G permalink
    02/04/2015 3:20 am

    Very interesting. Thanks for posting this!

    Like

  14. Letty (@BellaVidaLetty) permalink
    02/04/2015 4:40 am

    I have no idea where this wacky holiday originated or why. lol

    Like

  15. Chubskulit Rose permalink
    02/04/2015 7:55 am

    Now I know where April Fools originated. Did not have an idea of this before so thank you!

    Like

  16. JessicaACassidy (@wifetoalineman) permalink
    02/04/2015 8:32 am

    My summer babe loves to make jokes with me especially April Fool’s Day. This is a very fun article.

    Like

  17. Liz Mays permalink
    02/04/2015 8:42 am

    I can’t believe people fell for that Taco Bell prank. I have to laugh at how riled up people got over it!

    Like

  18. Mhie Lee permalink
    02/04/2015 10:33 am

    It’s good to know what April’s food day is about. My daughter fooled me yesterday and I just laughed.

    Like

  19. Audrey (trihardmom) permalink
    02/04/2015 11:16 am

    April Fools Day was a big hit for my daughter this year! We played some pranks on her and she got us back. I didn’t know that there was this much history but will be looking forward to the correct answers.
    I believe that the sports illustrated article featured Sidd – a male, not female pitcher. So that one may be incorrect?

    Like

  20. 02/04/2015 11:18 am

    It’s so hard to believe that it’s already April! Thank you for putting together this post.

    Like

  21. Michelle Varga (@dustbunniesblog) permalink
    02/04/2015 2:59 pm

    LOL those are some cool facts! It’s so funny that some people actually feel for those pranks!

    Like

  22. 02/04/2015 3:17 pm

    My little one likes to prank on April 1, but he does not like to be pranked in return. 😉 Dishing it out and not taking it, for sure… 🙂

    That’s funny about the cheese growing on trees! lol

    Like

  23. yumeating permalink
    02/04/2015 3:40 pm

    I guess I never really knew where April Fools Day came from. I just find it annoying because everyone uses that day to talk about how they are pregnant or their wife is expecting twins. As someone who can’t have kids, it gets painful. Its not something one should joke about.

    Like

  24. bonniegowen permalink
    02/04/2015 6:28 pm

    How neat that April 1st is celebrated different in different parts of the world. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  25. Kelly Hutchinson permalink
    02/04/2015 6:31 pm

    I am not a fan of April Fools day at all. My kids were bullied in school and it was just an excuse for the bullies to tease other kids and call it a prank.

    Like

  26. Autumn Blues Reviews (@AutumnBlues) permalink
    02/04/2015 7:26 pm

    My hubby is always pranking people he works with on April Fools. He tells me some of the things he does to them. Makes me crack up.

    Like

  27. Tiffany (@thedwellingtree) permalink
    02/04/2015 9:15 pm

    I always forget it is April Fool’s Day until the day of! I would love to catch my husband by surprise some day!

    Like

  28. Nile Flores permalink
    02/04/2015 10:00 pm

    Very nice. I read it on Wikipedia the other day. Thanks for sharing information on April Fools’ Day for those who weren’t aware of the history behind it.

    Like

  29. rochkirstin permalink
    02/04/2015 11:53 pm

    I don’t have a sense of humor and my jokes are in pretty bad timing always. Last April 1, I just did not believe the surprising news in my Facebook wall because I knew that people will be posting jokes and pranks such as positive pregnancy tests.

    Like

  30. Yona Williams permalink
    03/04/2015 4:54 am

    Interesting facts! One of my good friends was born on April Fools’ Day – I always got a kick out of that. However, as a child growing up, I bet it was torture.

    Like

  31. harpreetsinghgroverver permalink
    03/04/2015 7:28 am

    that was fun reading. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Like

  32. lynndeeee permalink
    03/04/2015 9:19 am

    The first recorded prank was really funny. We’re not into pranks but my husband would be delighted to read this.

    Like

  33. stretchyourpesomom permalink
    03/04/2015 9:55 am

    Not a fan of April Fool’s Day, I can’t pull off pranks well. I always end up getting punked instead haha. Memories of sticky situations keep popping up. Thanks for this post! 🙂

    Like

  34. The Trophy WifeStyle permalink
    03/04/2015 10:40 am

    Omg so glad I gave this a read!!! I have always wondered where this day came from. It’s also my grandmothers birthday so I always remember April 1st! Glad I know the history behind it now 🙂

    Like

  35. Erin @ Sugar Crumbs permalink
    03/04/2015 10:58 am

    We don’t do much for April Fools but I do enjoy a good prank every now and again. I had no idea how the day was started!

    Like

  36. The Pinterested Parent permalink
    03/04/2015 11:04 am

    Lol! Funny. This was interesting. I can;t wait to see the facts list.

    Like

  37. Cherri Megasko permalink
    03/04/2015 1:02 pm

    Ha! I would never have guessed that April Fools Day would have such a history! And I’m surprised at how many adults still like to play pranks.

    Like

  38. Shannon Gurnee permalink
    03/04/2015 3:08 pm

    I had no idea there was so much to know about April Fool’s Day! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  39. Fred permalink
    03/04/2015 4:41 pm

    Interesting article though I do not really like pranks (especially those done to me!) These pranks have taken a new level since Social Media makes spreading them so much easier. – Fred

    Like

  40. Elana Khong permalink
    03/04/2015 8:41 pm

    Great article. Thanks for sharing all these funny prank!

    Like

  41. mamtabalani permalink
    04/04/2015 12:47 am

    When I was kid I use to plan so many tricks for my friends, though never thought of the idea when it was started.. thanks for making me knowing.

    Like

  42. 04/04/2015 4:10 am

    We’re not big on April Fool’s here in my country but it’s always interesting to find out what other cultures do on this day. This is a good read, Elizabeth.

    Like

  43. 04/04/2015 5:29 am

    LOL, I was just going to say some of the facts looked a little to crazy… so I was right!

    Like

  44. Pal Raine permalink
    04/04/2015 5:41 am

    Same with what Russ have said, our country just followed what western people are doing. Like this April Fools Day event..most of my feed are full of “FALSE” or FOOLISHNESS post..ahahahaha…and though some are really cool jokes and love reading it.

    Like

  45. poojakawatra permalink
    04/04/2015 7:38 am

    This is really lovely and informative article.. Loved the humor part too 🙂

    Like

  46. What Fatemah Say's permalink
    04/04/2015 1:20 pm

    Wow I never new April fools had such an interesting history. I have never played any prank on anyone yet =p

    Like

  47. Nickle Love (@nicklelove) permalink
    05/04/2015 11:02 am

    We don’t have April Fools here but some people have adapted to this holiday. They would prank others and such. This is a fun read and nice information about the holiday.

    Like

  48. sriches permalink
    05/04/2015 12:38 pm

    There are so many fantastic April Fool’s stunts that have been pulled off over the years – luckily I managed to survive unscathed this year! 🙂 Sim x

    Like

  49. Damian @ Dareandconquer permalink
    05/04/2015 1:29 pm

    Wow i didn’t know that april foold day had so old roots. Thought that it was just another modern 21st century event.. Great info elizabeth.

    Like

  50. lee rosales permalink
    05/04/2015 5:57 pm

    thanks for sharing! i never knew the origin of April fools day.

    Like

  51. Prasad Np aka desi Traveler permalink
    06/04/2015 2:24 am

    Such historical nuggets related to April Fools day. Who could think that so much of history behind a day we just use for some harmless fun. Also good to know in UK after 12 noon the joke is on you 🙂

    Like

  52. franckxethee permalink
    06/04/2015 2:44 am

    The world needs its share of laughter too. I hope we remember this on April Fools Day.

    Like

  53. Vanessa Ally permalink
    06/04/2015 7:45 am

    On April Fools Day we always have a lot of fun, playing tricks on each other and the one who creates the most convincing pranks gets rewarded with a piece of cake. I was happy to read the facts related to this great day of fun.

    Like

  54. 06/04/2015 8:09 pm

    I had no idea about these facts so it was good to know. I don’t participate in April Fools. I used to when I was younger and had lots of fun then. 🙂

    Like

  55. Julie Searle permalink
    08/04/2015 1:41 pm

    Very cool info 🙂 Thanks for sharing 😀

    Like

  56. Nicol Wong (@yuk_lui) permalink
    09/04/2015 3:05 pm

    i was abroad on april fools and had forgotten to do something on that day!

    Like

  57. sinyees permalink
    11/04/2015 9:37 pm

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Luckily this year I never get fooled by anyone.

    Like

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