Aprils Fools Day!

What Does It Mean To You? 

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Well, it’s almost the end of March as I have begun writing my story about April Fools Day. I want to share with you, and although it seems like time is rushing by, April 1st is almost here. It’s a time when a bit of humor and good-hearted fun begins on a day known as April Fools Day! Or sometimes known as All Fools Day. Personally, I would prefer not to think that we make fools out of ourselves each time we pull a prank on someone else. So then, what does April Fools Day mean to you? Is it merely a time to pull off a gag on family, friends or co-workers?

Did you know that there’s actually a history behind April Fools Day? This holiday falls only on April 1st every year and is primarily a Western celebration, marked by playing practical jokes and pulling of hoaxes. The victims of the tricks are called April Fools. The one pulling the prank then shouts out: April Fools Day!

 While it is a widely celebrated holiday since 1582, (when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar-though there is a record it was actually in 1392) it is not a public holiday in every country. Aside from April Fools’ Day, the custom of setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon one’s neighbor has historically been relatively common in the world. We only know for sure that it has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, but its exact origins remain a mystery.

Some say it is one of the most light-hearted days of the year marking of a new season while others are not pleased to be on the receiving end of pranks. But in some ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, New Year’s Day is celebrated on or around April 1st. 

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with hunting the gowk, in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or kick me signs on them. The message used to convey the receiver to send another similar message to someone else by the foolish messenger. The game used to continue until the messenger realized that he is being fooled.

During the period when the New Years Day celebration was being moved from the calendar date of April 1, many either refused to accept the new date of January 1 or never heard about it and continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1. While still, others began to poke fun at the traditionalists, sending them on fool’s errands or trying to trick them into believing something false. In time. the practice spread all over Europe.

Much controversy ensued over the explanation of how this holiday came to be. As an example: In 1752 the Gregorian calendar was not adopted by England, yet April Fools Day was already well established there. Another point is that this holiday has no historical evidence for our theories that are available and all thoughts about its origin are sheer conjecture. WOW! Now that is some thought as I read up on so many ideas of its source! 

It is said that in the earlier times that jesters were intelligent men and it was their job to put things in perspective with humor. I ran across this jester illustration and felt as though it represented a theory of intelligence…well, maybe for April Fools Day. What do you think?

Oh, speaking about fools, it is also said that all of the explanations above were nothing more than made up theories that were carried by the Associated Press article and also printed by many newspapers in 1983. It took them a few weeks to discover they had been the victims of an April Fools Day joke.. 

Today in modern times, people have gone to great lengths all over the world to create and pull off elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Spread across newspapers, web sites, radio and television stations alike, participation in this traditional holiday amongst those of us who are pranksters by reporting outrageous fictional claims, fooling our victims, seems to provide us with the sheer entertainment!

  • Here are a few humorous events that took place in public businesses most of us have heard of before, but these stories were most amusing: 
  • In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. Come on! That would be some trick but do try ti i9mage the craziness of the footage. That had to be some April Fools Day hoax from those of us who enjoy the thought of the impossible!
  • In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. Lightening fast that would have been to see. The fastest baseball pitch ever recorded was thrown by Cincinnati Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman on Sept. 24, 2010, and was 105.1 mph!
  • In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell.
  • In 1998, after Burger King advertised a Left-Handed Whopper, scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich. Right-handed too? Actually, the left-handed burger may have sold well. They lost out on this one!
  • In 1976, the BBC did it again! April Fools Day they released a story, convincing listeners that unique alignment of planets would temporarily decrease gravity on Earth. Their telephone lines were jammed up with callers to claim they felt the effects.
  • In 2008, BBC again telecasted news saying penguins in Antarctica started flying. It’s not just that! It stated that those penguins had flown to South America’s tropical rainforests. Dear BBC, we love your sense of humor!

The problem with pranks is that it could quickly turn into tragedy. In 1945, the weather broadcast department announced a tsunami in Pacific Island on April first and since the many thought that it was a prank, they didn’t mind the announcement and what to say next? The big tragedy hit!!

I have a friend that lives in Wyoming and the first Friday of every month they have a tornado test alarm throughout the city. Imagine what would happen to thousands of  people if they did not listen and a tornado of great size hit them but because it was April Fools Day, and no one listens…that devastation would ruin so many lives. 

It is my opinion to have fun but not with pranks that could mimic a real life tragedy. Well, I have had my fun sharing the myths, stories, facts and many farces so at this time I want to tell you that my blog post is posted today because today is the real April Fools Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is anything you want to suggest as a topic, for my blog, then please share those ideas with me, by E-mailing them to: C.Ambrose.MamieAuthors@gmail.com

Chris Ambrose

Author:

My Boots Are Made For Walkin’, The First 3,000 Miles

and

70 is the new 50

 

  No matter what Life throws at you, 

it’s where Giving Up, is Never an Option!

 

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