Sunday, April 01, 2007
April Fool's Day
Today I was wished Happy Fools Day by a Chinese friend. It was a strange text message to get and at first I had no idea what it referred to - until I realised the date. But when did this crazy April Fool's Day idea begin? I went looking, and thanks to About.com, today I am an educated fool:
The First April Fool's Day
Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year fell on January first. There were some people, however, who hadn't heard or didn't believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools." They sent them on a "fool's errand" or tried to make them believe that something false was true.
In France today, April first is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d’Avril!" (April Fish!)