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In Focus

April Fool’s Day. A day of pranks, some good, some are pretty bad. I won’t be buying a glow in the dark hamburger or buying headphones that look like ramen cups. But it got me thinking, why do we celebrate this day and how did it start? revealed that it has been celebrated for centuries, but the origin is still a mystery.

According to the website: some historians speculate that April Fool’s Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

April Fool’s Day has been linked to festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. Sounds like my kind of party.

It is also believed to be tied to the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere when good ol’ Mother Nature fooled people with unpredictable and constantly changing weather. Sounds about right to me.

The website added: April Fool’s Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and was followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

I have never heard of some of these pranks, but I have heard of snipe hunting. It’s still fun to see what companies come up with for April Fool’s Day for new products and headlines. I remember when a taco chain said they bought the Liberty Bell years ago. That one was pretty funny. Hopefully everyone’s pranks went well and did not end with any physical injuries.

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