April Fools

Cartes_postales_poissons_d'avril_-_1

This was first posted on April 1, 2013, but it is just as relevant today (because today is also April 1!)

What is the origin of April Fools Day?

No one knows for sure, but it is speculated that it came about when the French calendar was reformed in the sixteenth century, moving the start of the year from March to January 1. Some people who clung to the old calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year from March 25 to April 1, had tricks played on them. The pranksters would stick paper fish on their backs. Thus they were called Poisson d’Avril, ‘April Fish,’ the name the French call April Fools even today.

April fools jokes have continued through the years. Near “our” time period a clever one was pulled off.

Washing_of_the_Lions

In 1860 a postcard was sent to several people admitting two to the Tower of London to view the annual ceremony of washing the White Lions on April 1. The invitees were instructed that they would be admitted only at the White Gate.

On April 1, several cabs were driving around Tower Hill looking for the White Gate—which, of course, didn’t exist.

April Fool!!

What was the best April Fools joke you played on someone or one someone played on you?

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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