On 1 April in the United Kingdom the British celebrate April Fool’s Day. It’s a day when everyone plays practical jokes, rather like the “Day of the Innocents” in Spain on 28 December. Everyone joins in and tells false stories in the hope that someone will really believe the story and so appear stupid.
All major newspapers run false stories on this day and large companies even create and publish fake videos. Here’s an example of a video that Virgin Atlantic made for April Fool’s day 2017. It will give you a clearer idea of what type of jokes I am taking about and how elaborate the stories are.
The origin of April Fool’s Day is not clear but perhaps the most widely accepted theory of why it is celebrated and when it started is in 1564, when France reformed its calendar and decided to make January the beginning of the year and not the end of March.
As with any change, some people didn’t like it and so they continued to celebrate New Year celebrations during the last week in March until 1 April. To ridicule these celebrators, people played a practical joke by pinning a paper fish to their backs without them knowing and then called them “Poisson d’Avril” translated into English this is “April Fish”. Poisson d’Avril is still the way the French call 1 April this today.
In Spain a similar sticking of a paper image on someone’s back happens too, though it is not a fish and the origin of the Spanish festivity on 28 December lies in a story in the bible.
Have you got a story for us? Has anyone ever played a practical joke on you, or have you ever done it to someone else. I’d like to hear them!
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