April Fools’ Day
Have you ever played a joke on someone and then, just when that person has fallen for it, said “April Fools!”? April 1 is known as April Fools’ Day, and, although no one really knows how the holiday began, it’s a great chance to play a joke on someone–as long as the joke is harmless. April Fools’ Day gives everyone a chance to play “the fool.” In France the fooled person is called poisson d’avril (“April fish”), and in Scotland the person is called a gowk (cuckoo), the symbol of a simpleton.
Also called All Fools’ Day, April Fools’ Day has been observed for centuries in several countries. The timing of the holiday seems related to the vernal equinox (one of the two days in the year when the sun is exactly above the equator, and nighttime and daytime are the same length). The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring (usually around March 21), when nature “fools” mankind with sudden changes in the weather.
Mother Nature is not the only one who plays tricks on people; you can see another kind of fool in the drawings on this page.
The custom of playing April Fools’ jokes in America came from Britain. The holiday is still observed by both kids and adults with simple jokes as well as involved hoaxes. So when April 1 rolls around, it’s time to play a good joke on someone and then shout “April Fools’!”