Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool's Day...!

This is pretty much a day recognized around the world as a day for practical jokes.

However, the day itself has quite a history on it's own. I found part of this history on and thought I would share it with you!

Apr 1, 1700:
April Fools tradition popularized

On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools' Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Although the day, also called All Fools' Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools' Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as "poisson d'avril" (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools' Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There's also speculation that April Fools' Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

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.

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools' Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. 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. 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. 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.

I have to apologize for the lack of cartoons today, but being the special day it is, I figured I'd pass on that! Sorry!

We better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain may come back, and I don't want to get least by the rain, ya know?


Anonymous said...

There were lots I didn't know about this day.

I do like the left handed whopper :-) :-) :-) The best prank they have done here happened long ago when color tv was on it way. Swedish televison had a science program (we only had one tv channel back then) that almost everyone looked at.
On April first that year they showed us how to make our black and white tv's to color tv's by cutting up a nylon stocking and placing it in front of the screen. They even said: As You can see we now got a color tv. No one thought it odd that they said so in a black and white broadcast :-):-) :-)

Have a great day!

Momlady said...

Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

Sixbears said...

My hometown newspaper did such elaborate April Fools issues that the wire services picked them up and ran them as real news articles. CNN vans showed up in town. Pretty funny.

JOJO said...

Thanks for the story. Some people can get carried away with there foolish pranks. But some are really fun. I hope todays dinner party isn't a joke cause I made 3 pies to bring. You may have to move coffee over here to help eat these pies. :-()

HermitJim said...

Hey Momlady...
That's always good advice! No matter what day of the year it is...!

Thanks, my friend, for coming over today!

Hey Sixbears...
That's pretty cool, that they were able to put one over on them!

Some elaborate pranks out there today!

Thanks for coming by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
With that many pies, I might have to come over myself!

I do love me a good pie!

Thanks, sweetie, for stopping in today!

BBC said...

I've never bothered with it but Helen pulled one on me the first thing when I went to her place this morning.

I just posted about files today, very important tools.

HermitJim said...

Hey BBC...
Some folks can get ya if you give them half a chance! Just never know!

Thanks so much for the visit today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Never got into it much, but just after we got married, I came home from work one April Fools day with my arm all BA daged up and in a sling. It worked.

BlueEyedBaby said...

Pulled a pretty mean one on my roommate this morning ;) I but a chicken cube for broth in her shower head. At least she smells good ;)

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
I can see where that might have got the attention of your wife!

Did she get you back?

Hey, thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Blue eyes...
Now that sounds like a pretty good prank to me! I'll file that away for future use!

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

HermitJim, thanks for the info and I posted a link to your blog post on our blog.