The Starting of April Fools

Grace Skaggs , Staff Writer

Starting on April 1, 1700, English pranksters begin to spread the annual tradition of playing pranks on each other. This day is also known as All Fools’ Day. It has been celebrated for centuries from many different cultures, and no one knows where its exact origins come from. Some historians have tried to find where this all started, and they think it could possibly date back to 1582. In 1582 France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Some people were slow to get this news or they failed to recognize that the start of the new year started on January 1. They continued to celebrate the new year from the last week of March through April 1 which people would joke about. People would then prank each other by placing paper fish on people’s backs and being referred to as poisson d’avril  which means April Fish. April fish symbolizes a young, “easily hooked” fish and a very gullible person. This day began to spread rapidly throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, this day was celebrated for 2 days, and they started with “hunting the gowk.” Gowk is another word for a cuckoo bird which is a symbol for a fool. The second day is known as Tailie Day, which they would pin fake tails or “kick me” signs on people.