April Fools’ Day
April Fools' Day - a festival that brings a sparkle in our eyes and tempts us to become naughty and do some mischief. No matter how much you avoid saying it, it's the truth and it happens with all of us. Have you ever wondered when and where it all began?
History of April Fools’ Day
Every year before April Fools' Day, I hear different stories about its origin; but when I researched about it, to my utter surprise, I found quite different results from what I had heard and the results seemed to be as tricky as the day itself! They were quite contradicting. These are just various suggestions floating around, none of which are certain. However, the most popular and seemingly reliable origin of April Fools' Day is that it began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under Charles IX. The Gregorian calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved from March 25 till April 1 (New Year's week) to January 1.
Communication methods were not as efficient as they are now, so many people did not receive the news for several years. Many people refused to believe in the new calendar and continued to celebrate New Year on April 1. These backward people were called fools. They were ridiculed and were often sent on ‘fools errands' or were subjected to other practical jokes.
This turned into a tradition later, and people started celebrating April Fools' Day every year on the first of April. Slowly this tradition spread throughout the world and young kids and teenagers celebrate it with great joy and enthusiasm.
A famous superstition is that practical jokes should be played before noon, and that those that are performed afterwards will bring bad luck to the performer. However, this superstition is widely losing its value because it is believed to have been made up by annoyed parents and school teachers who wanted a respite from the day of pranks, as well due to the fact that many major hoaxes in history have appeared after noon.
Another famous fallacy is that people who fail to respond in the proper spirit of tolerance and enjoyment to the jokes played on them also suffer from bad luck later.
A rather lame belief is that being married on April Fools' Day is not a good idea for a man, because if so, in the future he will be ruled by his wife.
The darker side
The pranks mentioned above are childish pranks. Sometimes people go on to play much dangerous pranks too like calling up someone and pretending as if a close one died or got hurt. One of my schoolfellows burnt a teacher's raincoat while it was raining cats and dogs. People get hurt or even badly injured because of someone's negligence. This shows that there is a much darker side of April Fools' Day.
In my opinion these types of pranks are not just pranks. Pranks are supposed to be funny and light so that everyone can enjoy. They are not meant to hurt the other person - physically or emotionally. The best April fool prank is the one where everyone laughs, especially the person upon whom the joke is played.
Hence, when you celebrate the day, make sure you don't indulge in anything that can turn out to be dangerous or harsh for anyone, be it a friend or a stranger!
How is it celebrated
Ever since I can remember, children of all age groups celebrate April Fools' Day by planning unique and fun pranks in advance and try their level best to fool people around by doing everything they can! One of the most common and clichéd trick on April Fools' Day is to point down to a friend's shoe and say, "Your shoelace is untied." School children also usually tell classmates that school has been cancelled. Whatever the trick, if the innocent victim falls for the joke the prankster yells, "April Fool!"
It's so easy to enjoy this day as we don't even have to invest in something, just put your mind to work and come up with unique pranks that can be enjoyed with siblings, relatives and friends. Sounds so much fun, well it is!
Some fun pranks
Switch the salt and sugar bowl when a friend is going to add it in the coffee or tea and wait to see the reaction!
Invest in a fake iPod that gives a minor shock when the play button is pressed. It's not expensive just about $5 and is absolutely harmless.
Change the time of the clock, but make sure you don't do it with someone who has an important task to complete.
Get a plastic lizard and throw it around on people to scare them!
Offer people magic pop claiming it is simple candy.
The aim of April Fools' Day is to make fool of others and have a hearty laugh. It is the battle of wits on this day. All of us expect to get fooled, and leave no stone unturned to save ourselves from making others laugh at us. Similarly others don't want to be laughed at or made fun of. So remember to have fun within the limits. Make sure you are genuinely funny and not disgusting when you play a prank. April fool pranks should be good fun and not meant to harm someone, so keep that in mind while you celebrate the day. Happy April Fools' Day! :)