What is the origin of April Fools Day? Some historians speculated that April Fools Day may have begun as far back as 1582, AD. France had switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as directed Council of Trent in 1563. The people who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had been moved to January 1st, they continued to celebrate it during the last day of March through April 1st. Those people became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.
According to History – THIS DAY IN HISTORY, a popular prank at the time included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as poisson d’avril (April fish), said to symbolize a young, “easily hooked” fish and a gullible person.
In the 18th century, April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain and became a two day event starting with the “hunting the gowk, in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a work for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them. The “kick me” signs on someone’s back still shows up in various comedies throughout the years.
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