April Fool’s Day aka Pranksgiving Origins

April Fools

If you go through some of your favorite online newspapers on April Fool’s Day, you may find several suspicious headlines. While getting into the details, you will learn about some hoax stories relating to April Fool’s Day.

You may have a thought about when and why we started celebrating day of pranks and merriment (Pranksgiving, anyone?). Well, nobody knows the exact answer to this question. But, the best guess from researchers is that it started in Renaissance Europe, but possibly, it has much older roots.

Several stories reveal that the origin of April Fool’s Day is linked to classical Roman times when the famous joyful festival named Hilaria came into celebration (and isn’t this hilarious?), and the date dedicated for this event was March 25. As per the reports, March 25 was named the “eight of the Calends of April,” and this celebration is strongly linked to the festival celebrated on April 1. However, there is only moderate evidence that can put a connection between April Fools’ Day and Hilaria festival.

One more popular theory from Roman Empire links April Fool’s Day to the reign of Emperor Constantine. As per this story, a group of jesters or fools convinced Constantine to announce one of them as the King for one day (king of the castle, king of the castle). Constantine agreed, and ‘Kugel’ was announced as King for 1st Apri, who later declared that this day would be celebrated with joy and cheerfulness. This was the event that led to the origin of April Fool’s Day. Every Kugel has his day, right?

April Fool

Plenty of people in the past have tried establishing a link between other events and the most foolish holiday. Some stories connect April Fools’ Day to Roman Saturnalia, the Feast of Fools celebration in carnivalesque medieval, Britain’s Druidic rites, and even the Holi festival celebrated in India. However, all of these are a stretch as to the origin of April Fool’s Day.

While having a connection to several stories from different centuries and decades, April Fool’s Day is still being celebrated around the world with unique tricks. In the late 19th century, people generally followed three different artistic representations for this prank day. The first one was to put a brick under a hat on some sidewalk with the idea that someone would kick that hat and ultimately bonk their toe on the brick.

The second story involved leaving a desirable object such as money or wallet in plain view while tying a string around it. Whenever a person tries to snatch the object or money, the hidden prankster on the other end would pull the string. The third common prank people used to play on April Fools’ Day during the 19th century was a heated coin. The idea was to heat up a coin using a cigar or fire and leave it with the thought that someone would pick it up and ultimately burn his hands.

The current generations have also devised their own ways of celebrating April Fool’s Day, and it is possible to see several stories about pranks played around the world in the online Newspapers on April 1. So slap me silly and call me Sally and go forth and celebrate with your own witty prank on this awesomely fun day!

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