Happy April Fools’ Day 2017.
I wasn’t around but reliable Internet sources tell me this day began to be observed on this date in 1700. I have no idea why someone would’ve thought to mark that date as the first April Fools’ Day, but it is attributed to English pranksters. The day is also called All Fools’ Day, maybe a more appropriate name since you and I run the risk of being fooled all day long. If we are accustomed to being fooled more often than once a year, we may have issues that do not relate to a particular day.
Some historians speculate that this day might be traced back to 1582 when France changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar as deemed to occur by the Council of Trent in 1563. “People who were slow to get the news or who failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1st and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1st became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.”
Since I am of some Scot’s heritage, I noted that this became a traditional two-day event in Scotland, that began with “hunting the gowk” (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for a fool) and was followed by ‘Tailie Day’ which as you might’ve already guessed involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me’ signs on them.
The article I read also indicated two more current events on April Fool’s Day:
In 1996, Taco Bell duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and indicated it was planning to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell.
In 1998, Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper” and experienced scores of people requesting this fake sandwich.
So…if you find yourself confronted with something not quite believable today, you might be getting set up to be an April Fool.
We’ve all had fair warning!