What is the origin of April Fools Day?
No one knows for sure, but it is speculated that it came about when the French calendar was reformed in the sixteenth century, moving the start of the year from March to January 1. Some people who clung to the old calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year from March 25 to April 1, had tricks played on them. The pranksters would stick paper fish on their backs. Thus they were called Poisson d’Avril, ‘April Fish,’ the name the French call April Fools even today.
April fools jokes have continued through the years. Near “our” time period a clever one was pulled off.
In 1860 a postcard was sent to several people admitting two to the Tower of London to view the annual ceremony of washing the White Lions on April 1. The invitees were instructed that they would be admitted only at the White Gate.
On April 1, several cabs were driving around Tower Hill looking for the White Gate—which, of course, didn’t exist.
What was the best April Fools joke you played on someone or one someone played on you?
April Fool’s Day landed on a Sunday. I was a little girl. Moments before it was time to depart for church, I came out in my bathrobe. Mother went ballistic. I shouted, “April Fool’s” and whipped off my robe. I wore my best dress under the robe. Slipped it off and on with the shoes, and I was ready before anyone else. I was lucky I didn’t die that day. 🙂
Weren’t you a clever little girl, Laurel!