As a friendly reminder, before you fall for anyone's jokes or pranks, that today is April Fools' Day. In honor of one of the world's most lighthearted celebrations, let's learns a little bit about Christmas!
No, seriously - let's learn a little about April Fools' Day.
A LITTLE history on this silly Holiday
April Fools' Day has long been a tradition in the United States. In 1700, pranksters started to popularize the annual tradition of April Fool's Day by pulling practical jokes on each other.
Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some history buffs believe it all began in 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII decreed the adaption of the Gregorian Calendar (named after himself) which moved New Year's Day from the end of March to January 1st.
This announcement was widely published, but those who did not get the message and continued to celebrate on April 1st were ridiculed and, because they were seen as foolish, called April Fools. (Hence the name April Fools)
Now lets take a spin around the globe
How is April Fools' Day celebrated in other countries?
Although the exact origins of the holiday are unknown, many people believe it began in France in the 18th century. Because the holiday coincides with Lent, when meat is substituted for fish during meals, merrymakers began to use fish as a pranking method. Today, modern French people have swapped out real fish for paper fish, which are taped to unsuspecting victims' backs. April Fools' Day is referred to in France as Poisson d’Avril (April Fish).
April Fool's Day in Brazil is known as o dia das mentiras, which means "the day of lies". Fittingly, the holiday was popularized in Brazil thanks to a satirical newspaper called A Mentira.
This publication participated in mean-spirited pranks ranging from fake death announcements to duping investors out of money. Yikes.
April Fools' Day is a popular holiday in Greece, and just as is the case with Greek Easter, Greeks have a wide array of April Fools' beliefs and traditions.
It is a longstanding belief in Greece that whomever chooses to dig on April 1st is essentially digging their own grave; as such, you can imagine there's not a whole lot of digging happening in Greece on this day. Conversely, April 1st rainwater is seen as extremely lucky and valuable; Greeks collect it in jugs and drink it throughout the year.
It is said that it will be a blessed year for those Greeks fortunate enough to successfully pull off an April Fools' prank. So watch out if you're even in Greece on April 1st!
In Germany, April Fools' tradition is the exact same as it is in the United States, expect that it carries a bit more importance. On April Fools' you play a prank (called an Aprilscherz) on family members, co-workers, and friends. It is common to tell a flat-out lie and even TV and newspapers get in on the fun and share out of this world stories. To reveal the joke, Germans say "April, April": literally meaning "April, April".
Now that you have read bit more about the mysterious origins of April Fools' Day and how it is historically celebrated in other nations, have a very productive day. But beware - pranksters could be lurking around every corner!