Think Twice Today – It’s Probably Just an April Fool’s Joke
If something sounds too good to be true today or to tragic to believe, it probably is for Today is April Fools Day, The day when all bets are off as far as “pranking” your friends, relatives and neighbors.
Where did it all begin? Wikipedia says:
Precursors of April Fools’ Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December 28, still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries.
In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon. Thus, the passage originally meant 32 days after April, i.e. May 2, the anniversary of the engagement of KingRichard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean “March 32″, i.e. April 1. In Chaucer’s tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.
In 1508, French poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally “April fish”), a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1. In 1686, John Aubreyreferred to the holiday as “Fooles holy day”, the first British reference. On April 1, 1698, several people were tricked into going to theTower of London to “see the Lions washed”.
In the Middle Ages, up until the late 18th century, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending on April 1. Many writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of January 1 as New Year’s Day was common in France by the mid-16th century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by theEdict of Roussillon.
A study in the 1950s, by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie, found that in the UK and those countries whose traditions derived from there, the joking ceased at midday. But this practice appears to have lapsed in more recent years.
Not everybody waits for April Fools Day for a good punk. In fact Ashton Kutcher made successful television show out of the idea, Michael Landon wan known for his practical jokes on the set of all of “Little House On The Prarie” and Sparky Lyle was king of the clubhouse pranksters while with the Yankees. Even Brad Pitt got into the act while making “Moneyball” and showed off his punking style.
The best April Fool’s joke of the day though make have come from Google.
You can see for yourself by clicking HERE.
What was the greatest practical joke you ever played? Let us hear your story(s) below.