Observed on the first day of April, April Fool’s Day is a day in which people play practical jokes and good-natured pranks on each other. This day isn’t a holiday in any of the countries that it is observed, but is has been popular since the nineteenth century, nonetheless.
Many historians believe that this day can be traced directly to the Hilaria Festivals that were celebrated during the Vernal Equinox in Rome. However, since this festival occurred in March, many people believe that the earliest recording of this day came from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in 1392. In this edition is a story about a vain cock being tricked by a crafty fox on April 1st. Hence, spawning the practice of playing practical jokes on this day.
Customs And Observations
In France, April 1st is also known as poissons d’avril – or April Fish. On this day, people attempt to attach paper fish to the backs of unsuspecting friends and colleagues. This practice can be traced back to the nineteenth century, as evidenced by the many postcards from that time depicting the practice.
In the United States, people often try to scare, or fool, unsuspecting friends and family members using a variety of different techniques.
In Ireland, a letter is often given to an unsuspecting person on April Fool’s Day to be delivered to another person. When the person carrying the letter arrives at his destination, then the next person sends them some place else because the note inside the envelope reads, “Send the fool even further.”