April Fools' Day

by HEIDI GRUBER '23

We all know about April Fools' Day. However it is a day that we can easily forget, making us vulnerable to pranks that end with someone yelling at us, “April Fools’!” For a gullible person, like me, April 1st is a day I try to remember but somehow always forget and end up looking like a fool, so I thought it might be interesting to find what started this day that targets the gullible.


Though the origin of April Fools’ Day is unknown, there are some speculations. Some historians believe that it started when the French switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1582. The Julian Calendar originally celebrated the new year through the last week of March to April 1st, but the Gregorian Calendar moved it to January 1st. This switch took some getting used to and news did not travel as fast so some people still continue to celebrate the new year according to the Julian calendar. I feel for these people because I can’t imagine if one day we just decided to switch our whole calendar. These people that were last on the train to know the new years had been switched, became the humor of society and were referred to as “April Fools.” Some of the humor was focused on pranks, like attaching a paper fish to their back and calling them “poisson d’avril” translated to April fish. This was used to symbolize how they were like an easily caught fish and a gullible person. I am glad that this tradition is over or I feel like I would have a lot of those on my back.


Overall I feel like April Fools’ Day is pretty random but can be entertaining if you're not the butt of the joke or prank. My favorite April Fools’ Day was my dad convincing my sister that the neighbors had an ostrich in their backyard. She was about to put her coat on to check it out, but my dad revealed that it was April Fools'. My least favorite was definitely being told there was a squirrel in my room when I just got out of bed for school, but it did in fact wake me up.


If you want to know about some real pranks, here is a link to an article talking about 9 outrageous pranks in history: https://www.history.com/news/april-fools-day-greatest-pranks