The April Fools’ Day Way


Lex Griffin

Senior Nathan unsuspectingly walks down the halls as a student prepares to prank him.

A national holiday not commonly thought about is April Fools’ Day. On this day, pranksters from around the country deviate from their casual lives to be a little silly. Going out of the way to mess with and fool friends and family is not uncommon. Pranks should not affect someone negatively since there is an art to their schemes.

“I’ve put salt in my dad’s coffee. I’ve put Cellophane over his shower head and toilet,” senior Garrett Winters proudly stated.

The celebration of April Fools’ Day began in 1700. Unlike other popular holidays, April Fools’ Day does not have a clear origin. There are many contributing factors to its chaos. So while the exact origin of the holiday is unknown, there are a few claims to attribute to it.

One of these claims is that of Geoffrey Chaucher’s “The Canterbury Tales.” In the tale “the Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” a chicken is tricked into believing that March has 32 days by a fox. The 32nd of March would be April first. However, this translation may have been incorrect. Scholars have found that it could have meant 32 days after March instead.

Another possible claim is the celebration of New Year’s Day. During the 1500s, due to a change in the calendar, some celebrated the day in March instead of January. On April 1st, those still using the Julian calendar were mocked.

The exact origin may be unknown; however, it is known that in 1700 the tradition was popularized. English citizens began to play practical jokes on each other on that day. The spread of the holiday throughout Britain brought the idea to other countries. Scottland saw a two-day affair. People were pranked on the first and mocked on the second. Kick me signs were pinned to the Scotts’ backs, denying them a clean conscience.

Not only did the Scottish partake, but the French too. However, their way of celebrating is slightly different. The French are known for the “poisson d’avril,” or the April Fish. French citizens pin fish to each other’s backs and then flee yelling “poisson d’avril” as they leave their prey in the dust.

While the infamous kick me sign or the fish pin may not be allowed in the school, there are alternatives that both pranksters and teachers can agree on.

“I would be okay with students coming and sticky noting my classroom. It would take hours. They could even add in streamers,” AAHS literature teacher, Rachel Riley, commented.

Aprils Fools day is a national holiday that many other countries have adopted. A day to mock others from the 1500s has evolved into a silly day enjoyed by both young and old. Not only does the United States partake in this tradition but many other countries from around the world partake as well. Holidays are generally religious or tradition-based, yet April Fools’ Day is simply a day to have fun.