People all over the world are competing to play the best practical tricks on each other, because today is April Fools’ Day.
Tricks can vary from something as simple as a whoopee cushion on a chair, or as grand as a fake proposal – and the results are sure to be all over your social media feeds.
Whilst the exact origins of the day are unknown, it’s thought to have been celebrated in the UK since at least the 19th century.
Back then, pranks were mostly played on children but nowadays, no one gets away lightly.
Here’s everything you need to know about what is (supposedly) the funniest day of the year, April Fools’ Day:
April Fools’ Day origins
There are various theories about where the day actually came from, but the most likely seems to trace all the way back to the late 16th century when Pope Gregory XIII decided it would be a good idea to adopt the Gregorian calendar (no prizes for guessing why).
Where the year had previously started at the end of March, under the new calendar rules it was moved to January 1.
Even though the news was spread, some people clearly didn’t get the message in time and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. Because of this, they were ridiculed and branded as ‘fools’; thus the tradition of April Fools’ Day began.
April Fools’ Day around the world
- In France, children prank their friends by taping a paper fish to their backs.
- In Scotland, April Fools’ Day lasts two days. On the second day, known as Taily Day, pranks involving the backside are played. It’s thought to be where “kick me” signs originated.
- In New York, press releases for a non-existent April Fools’ Day Parade have been released every year since 1986.
- In Canada and England, April Fools’ Day jokes are only supposed to be played until noon.
- In Poland, April Fools’ Day is so strongly believed that an anti-Turkish alliance signed on April 1 with Leopold I in 1683 had to be backdated to March 31.
Is April Fools’ Day a bank holiday?
Yes, April Fools’ Day is a national holiday and everyone gets the day off.
It’s business as usual, I’m afraid.