April fool’s Day

Today is April 1st, and as tradition dictates, jokes are made or received.

How did April Fools’ Day originate? Why is it called April Fools’ Day? What does April Fools’ mean?

Keep reading to discover the answers to these questions.


April Fools’ Day: How did it originate?

It appears that this celebration originated in France. Until 1582, the year of the transition to the Gregorian calendar, the French celebrated New Year’s from March 25th to April 1st. During these days, subjects exchanged gifts and celebrated.

With the Gregorian calendar, the year began on January 1st. However, not everyone adjusted to the change and continued exchanging gifts on April 1st. Pranksters began giving empty packages with a note that read “Poisson d’Avril” (April Fish).

The celebration spread first to the Habsburg Empire, then to the United Kingdom, and eventually worldwide.

In Italy, this celebration arrived between 1860 and 1880. Genoa was the first city to celebrate April Fools’ Day.

Pesce d'Aprile

According to another theory, this celebration dates back to the time of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

Mark Antony, not wanting to lose a bet with Cleopatra, asked a slave to secretly place fish on his hook. The Egyptian queen noticed and ordered a fake fish made of crocodile skin to be attached to the hook.

Why is it called April Fools’ Day?

It’s called April Fools’ Day because just like fish bite the bait, so do victims “bite” the bait with the same ease.

Sometimes, however, it’s hard not to fall for the trap.

On March 31, 1989, in the United Kingdom, a UFO landed in London, later revealed to be a hot air balloon. Richard Branson, president of Virgin Records, emerged from the “spaceship” dressed in a silver suit.

Pesce d'Aprile

April Fools’ Day Around the World

In the United Kingdom, this celebration is highly observed and is called April Fool’s Day. The term “fool” refers to the medieval jester who entertained the courts in the Middle Ages.

In Scotland, this celebration lasts two days. The second day is called Taily Day, and it’s a tradition to attach a note to victims’ backs saying “Kick me.”

In Germany, it’s called Aprilscherz, meaning April joke.

In Portugal, it’s celebrated on the Sunday and Monday before Lent. Here, it’s customary to throw bags of flour at unsuspecting individuals.

In India, it’s celebrated on March 31st. The festival is called Huli and celebrates spring and teasing everyone.

Xtrawine wishes you a happy April Fools’ Day.


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