Wednesday, 1 April 2009

April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day, or All Fools' Day, is the first day of April. It is a traditional day for playing pranks on unsuspecting people. In many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, people play tricks on others. A favourite joke is to send someone on a fool's errand (a search for something that does not exist), or to get people to believe ridiculous things. The victim is called an April Fool.

No one knows where the April Fools' custom began. The origin is uncertain but may be related to the arrival of spring in late March, when nature "fools" humanity with changes in weather. Another explanation has to do with the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which moved New Year's Day to January 1.

The tradition originated in France and Great Britain and it was introduced into America in colonial times.

The French call April 1 "Poisson d'Avril" or "April Fish". French children sometimes stick a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered.

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