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Explainer: April Fools' Day

<p>Because we pity the fool who has no idea what April 1 is</p>
| Mar 29, 2010
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This year’s April Fools’ Day is quite out of the ordinary, as the first day of the month of April is actually Holy Thursday. And being a nation of Catholic devotees, to pay respects and grievances is more imperative than, say, to simply fool around on such a day. [firstpara]
But hey, no one’s stopping you from sticking to your favored tradition! Not when it’s a non-working holiday! And especially those who have always been the butt of everyone’s jokes, April 1 could either be the most treacherous day of your life or the closest you’ll ever get to vengeance.

Case in point, it really pays to know what everyone’s about to get into. So why don’t we take a closer look at the annual tradition we call April Fools’ Day?

What is April Fools’ Day?
Celebrated annually on the 1st day of April, this fantastic yet disturbing event is a day dedicated to having fun, cracking jokes, and making pranks. Call it a 1-day free pass to jumble around, if you will. As if we can’t joke around on days not dated April 1, right?

In this day and this day alone, everybody has the license to bend facts, pull stunts, and play around. The objective is not to cause harm, despair, or damage to anyone, but to simply make fun for the sake of it. Everything you do, however, is at your own expense, and you can still get arrested for some of the crap that you do.

In some countries, such as the UK, Australia, and South Africa, the jokes only last until noon, while countries like Japan, Canada, Ireland, France, and Italy infiltrate jokes all day.

How did April Fools start?
There are a lot of stories revolving around April Fools that we don’t even know which is dead right and which a hoax is. Heck, even its own origin might be a prank in the making.

In 1392, a collection of stories titled Canterbury Tales featured a legend of two fools called the “Nun’s Priest Tale.” Geoffrey Chaucer, the tale’s narrator, indicated the tale’s setting at Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two.

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Chaucer presumably meant 32 days after March, which is in the 2nd day of May. The book’s readers however misinterpreted his writing and saw it as March 32, which is actually April 1, thus the April Fools’ Day label.

Another said origin of April Fools came from the Middle Ages, when European towns used to celebrate New Year’s Day on the 25th of March, lasting for a whole week, ending in April 1.


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