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April 1 - All Fools Day or April Fool's Day

History of April Fool's Day

Origins of April 1 as April Fools

A number of theories exist about the origins of pranking on April 1.

Site Index Features : Holidays : April Fool's Day


April 1 was celebrated as the start of the New Year under the Julian Calendar because it occurred during the European celebration of the Feast of Annunciation. In non-European cultures, the New Year observance occurred around the same time in observance of the Vernal Equinox (March 21).

In medieval times the Gregorian calendar was introduced. Pope Gregory's calendar placed New Year's Day on January 1, but many countries refused to change tradition and did not adopt the new calendar for hundreds of years.

Following widespread adoption of the new calendar by the mid-1800s, All Fools' Day became popular in 18th-century England as a day for playing foolish pranks; the prankster's holiday spread to the US with English culture and tradition, and today continues as a popular joke-playing day in both countries as well as many other nations.

april fool jesterInternet Hoaxes Skyrocket on April 1

A number of Internet hoaxes have occurred on April 1 - including some not-so-funny computer attacks.

Virus-related pranks and spoofs wreak havoc on home and business systems silently infected weeks beforehand by attachments transported via mail messages or other files; these silent villian bits of code are carefully timed to activate on April 1 and to propagate themselves.

In the 1980's and 1990's, many business networks were routinely disconnected from external connections on April 1 as a brute-force preventative measure against hacker intrusions or other malicious network-dependent activities. Nowadays most businesses and individuals protect their computers 24/7 with firewalls, anti-virus software and company security training programs.

Family Fun on April 1

Celebrating April Fools' Day at home or at school can be tricky (no pun intended). By discouraging and avoiding Pranks that may be harmful or dangerous, there's still plenty of opportunity for good clean fun and humorous antics.

Clowning around and laughter are still "the best medicine" for everyone. In the new era of Homeland Security and safety awareness, take a few minutes to think about how a prank might be perceived or misinterpreted by others before you embark on your April 1 foolishness, then go for good-natured jokes.

Lee's Foolish April 1 Experience

My own story about April Fools' Day has to do with my personal automobile.

While I was in the shower preparing to go to work, a family member moved my car from the driveway to another parking spot that wasn't visible from the front of the house.

When I came out the front door to drive to start my car to drive to work, I suddenly realized my car was GONE.

As I rushed back into the house in a panic, my daughters' gleeful laughter tipped me off - I had forgotten the date was April 1 until everyone shouted "April Fool!" then showed me where to find my car - parked safely in the back yard instead of in the driveway.

April Fool

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