April Fools’s Day began in India in 5th Century BC.
What is an April Fools’ Day? How did it originate? Read on the interesting history that travelled till this day today
A latest research by Pune-based Academy of Research and Scientific Associations (ARSA) has revealed today that that April Fools’ Day had originated in India around 5th Century B.C., near a tribal area in Gujarat called Amod.
The research by a senior scientist claims that people started fooling their neighbours presenting them with look-alike wax fruits, saying they were original. No one was able to make out, they would eat and cleaning teeth and mouth would take a day long, in the absence of proper heating vessels. And thus, the designing of wax fruit and other items also started from there, and spread across the globe.
However, the Ist of April is ‘celebrated’ across the world as an April Fools’ Day, interestingly, the history of which so far was guessed via different tales travelling across the globe.
Different nations, celebrated it in their own unique ways. So much was the ‘prank’ of ‘fooling’ someone became popular that even creative fraternity in the television and advertising arena, restaurants and writers made fools of the people through their creative ideas.
Some historians found out that for the first time April FoolS’ Day was celebrated in 1582. During those days France used to follow Julian calendar. Which, as the Hindu calendar, used to celebrate New Year from April 1, marking the beginning of the spring. But it decided to switch to Gregorian calendar on the advice of the Council of Trent in 1563, and started celebrating New Year from January 1.
But, due to the less advanced methods of communication those days, people could not get the news on time and continued celebrating the New Year on April 1. Soon, they became prey for the jokes and started being called “April Fools”. A prank to make fun of them would follow. It included a paper fish called “poisson d’avril” or April fish, kept on their backs. The fish symbolised gullibility for being easily caught.
Apart from this, April is also known to be celebrated as a festival at the end of March, called “Hilaria’ in ancient Rome, by the followers of the cult of Cybele. In the festival, people would disguise in different dresses, paint or decorate faces to be unrecognisable. This would help them poking fun at fellow citizens and brickbat even the judges and magistrates, but never caught!
The fest, as some historians record, was inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris and Seth.
The April Fools’ Day even goes back to understanding that nature is fooling people with its changing moods from the last week of March to April, in an unpredictable manner. This is associated with vernal equinox or the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.
Among the most hilarious way to celebrate April Fool, was the chase for the ‘gullible’ people to be made fools of.Finding one, the ‘fools’ would have to have a feather or a tail attached to his/her butt signifying “kick me”. This way of celebration was of the Britain during the 18th Century, and is still, largely followed across the globe. They used to do it in this way - the prankster would “hunt a cuckoo bird” (cuckoo symbolizes a simple bird, too naïve) send someone (a friend or anyone) somewhere by a hoax call, someone would follow too. On finding the person had been fooled, he would have to display “kick me” sign on his back.
In modern times, restaurants fool people by offering a free meal, some newspapers flash an incorrigible story with some fictional claims. BBC had joined the bandwagon in 1957. It reported that Swiss farmers were able to grow noodles from the trees and even showed fake footage and fooled its readers/viewers too well.
Even Google notoriously hosted an annual April Fools’ Day pranks on it viewers. It included things like a “telepathic search” to the ability to play Pac Man its Google Maps!!.
An regular trickster play the game of throwing a rubber lizard, snake or any such reptiles on people, change sugar to salt etc., and doesn’t let the day go without fooling someone.
For example, I fooled you by starting this story, saying April Fools’ Day began in India!