The History of April Fools’ Day is No Joke

There are some classic April Fools’ Day pranks many of us have either played or had played on us. Some are very funny.

As fun as the pranks can be to plan and as big as the laughs that follow can be, there is an interesting history to the fun and games. Or rather there are several suggested histories that give the first day in April it’s longstanding and silly tradition.

As with many holidays, there doesn’t seem to be one solid tie to the origin of April Fools’ Day. There are several theories though. The challenge is knowing which ones might be legitimate and which are actually part of the joke itself, getting replayed with each new generation. Here are a few interesting facts about the holiday and where it all began.

Religious Origins

April Fools’ Day is not a religious holiday but some believe it can be traced back to 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII made official the switch to the Gregorian Calendar, causing New Year’s Day to move from the end of March to January 1. Apparently not everyone got the email announcing this major date change so they ended up celebrating the New Year in March. They ended up being mocked for the mix up and were believed to have been called April Fools.

Worldly Celebrations

The tradition in America is to pull a hoax over on someone by tricking them in some way. From toothpaste filled cookies to saran wrap on the toilet seat, the American pranks revolve around good, clean, fun.

Countries around the world celebrate variations of April Fools Day in their own way. In France the holiday translates to Poisson d’Avril which means “April Fish” in English. True to it’s name, children celebrate by taping pictures of fish to each other’s backs and waiting for them to to be found. This symbolizes young, gullible fish who are easily caught.


In the United Kingdom, timing is everything. Jokes that are played before noon are considered funny and the victim is the April Fools but jokes played after noon mean the prankster himself is the fool.


In Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, the pranks are played by the media too. Usually one big media story will end up being a prank.

Pranking the Masses

People have a lot of fun with playing jokes on one another. It can also get really exciting when tv stations or corporations get involved and play a joke on the general public. In 1996 Taco Bell advertised in major newspapers across the nation saying they had bought the Liberty Bell and would be renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Jokes such as this are risky and don’t always go over well with everyone, but they do help the company prankster get attention. In 1957 the BBC broadcast a segment about spaghetti growing on trees and in 2014, Google had an entire list of pranks going on online.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve for April Fool’s Day 2015?

Nearly 30 Years of Dental Expertise

dentist-atlanta-meet-the-drDr. Hugh Flax has a passion for practicing dentistry. He takes great pleasure in changing patients’ lives through their smiles. He received his degree in dentistry at Emory University and began Flax Dental in 1987. Outside the office, Dr. Flax loves music, New Orleans, traveling and more music. Follow Flax Dental on Twitter and Facebook.


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Posted in: Just for Fun

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