April Fool's Day is not just about fun and games. Share these interesting trivia about the day with your child.
By Leena Ghosh
"April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four." - Mark Twain
Who doesn’t like a good laugh, now and then? Luckily for us, we get an entire day every year, to fool around or execute elaborate practical jokes. April 1 is celebrated all around the world as April Fool’s Day. It is a day when both children and adults pull pranks on their friends and loved ones, and try their best not to get tricked themselves.
While you and your child decide how best to trick a family member or a neighbour on this day, we give you some interesting facts about April Fool’s Day that she would love to read and share with her friends.
1. How it all began
While there is no conclusive proof as to how and when April Fool’s Day began, there are many theories about the day. One theory states that during ancient times, the Romans used to celebrate a festival called Hilaria, also known as the 'day of jokes'. The festival was celebrated to worship Cybele, the Greek mother of gods, and people took part in parades and masquerades, and enjoyed a few good jokes on that day. It was celebrated on the first day of the vernal equinox.
2. The first mention
The first mention of April Fool’s Day celebrations was reportedly made in Geoffrey Chaucer’s book 'The Canterbury Tales'. In the story 'The Nun's Priest's Tale', a fox tricks the proud rooster Chauntecleer on 'syn March bigan thritty dayes and two' (32 days from the beginning of March). It is believed that Chaucer was alluding to April 1 in his book, the day the fox tricked the rooster. However, a few historians believe it was just a misprint.
3. A fishy tale
Many believe that April Fool's Day celebrations initially started in France. The story is that when in 1564, King Charles XIV of France, started celebrating the New Year on January 1, many people who lived in rural France weren’t informed of the change and continued to celebrate New Year between March 25 and April 1. So, the people who celebrated the beginning of a year during the end of March became the victims of practical jokes. Pranksters would stick paper fish on the backs of the victims and they would be called Poisson d’Avril or April Fish.
4. A fool’s day hunt
According to Scottish folklore, a ‘gowk’ means a foolish person, and on this day, people try to trick each other and put them in embarrassing situations. Known as Hunt The Gowk Day, this festival is celebrated in Scotland over two days – April 1 and 2.
5. A trick in space
Just because it’s NASA, it doesn't mean they can't have their share of fun on April 1. In 2002, NASA tried to prove, through pictures, that the moon is actually made of green cheese and comes with an expiry date. Of course, not many believed the joke, but the trick made it to the list of best April Fool’s Day pranks in history.
6. A fun school day
The Koreans love to celebrate April Fool’s Day and the masters of the day’s celebrations are apparently school children. Every year, students in Korea come up with elaborate plans to trick teachers as well as fellow students and it is all taken in good humour.
7. When people thought Gmail was a joke
Google has always been known for its sense of humour and its involvement in April Fool’s Day pranks. Unfortunately for them, when Google launched Gmail on 1 April, 2004, many people thought it was just a hoax.
8. When a joke became a reality
During a British children’s TV show, the host announced that a new portable musical device called ‘the chippy’ would soon be sold in stores. The host of the show claimed that this device was reportedly no bigger than a credit card and could store hundreds of songs. While at the end of the show the device was declared as an April Fool’s day joke, in less than 10 years, the first digital audio players were launched.
Share these interesting and fun facts with your child and have a fun-filled April Fool’s Day!
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