Even though April fools day (also called All Fools’ Day) may not be as popular as Valentine’s day or Christmas, there are some people who wait all year to celebrate this goofy holiday. The amusing outcome of most celebrations consists of people pranking their friends, teachers, families, and even companies.
In 1878, New York Graphic published an article convincing people that Edison had solved the problem of world hunger with a machine that could manufacture “biscuit, meat, vegetables and wine” out of nothing more than air, water and dirt, and people really believed it!
However, are all these pranks what this “day for fools” is really about? Where did it come from? As dearly as we hold the tradition of making fools of the people we care about, there are more than enough theories about where April Fools’ Day came from.
Notice the following statement about April Fools Day from the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Although it has been observed for centuries in several countries, the origin of the custom is unknown. It resembles other festivals, such as the Hilaria of ancient Rome (March 25) and the Holi festival of India (ending March 31). Its timing seems related to the vernal equinox (March 21), when nature ‘fools’ mankind with sudden changes in the weather.” Regardless of its origin, people use April Fools’ Day as an excuse to “play the fool.”
According to blog.dictionary.com, one theory is that it began in 1582, when France adopted the Gregorian calendar. Before then, New Year’s Day fell on March 25, not Jan. 1st. and April fools were those who still celebrated the holiday in the spring, and were the subject of pranks and ridicule by those who observed the new year months ago.
In the Netherlands, the origin of April Fools’ Day is often attributed to the Dutch victory at Brielle in 1572, where the Spanish Duke Álvarez de Toledo was defeated. “Op 1 April verloor Alva zijn bril” is a Dutch proverb, which can be translated to “On the first of April, Alva lost his glasses.” In this case, the glasses (“bril” in Dutch) serve as a metaphor for Brielle. In shorter words, they turned it into a mocking of Alvarez, making him look like a fool.
Even though history does not provide an authoritative source to determine this holiday’s exact basis and origin people will continue to celebrate and use it as an excuse to pull crazy pranks, and get away with it.