April Fools' Day Fast facts

April Fools' Day is celebrated on April 1st each year as a day to play tricks and practical jokes on others. This type of custom has existed since Roman times when practical jokes were played on others during a festival called Hilaria.

April Fools' Day has been celebrated for many centuries but its origins are not known for certain. Some believe it began in France after New Year's Day was changed from April 1st to January 1st in the year 1582, but others date it back centuries earlier.

Today April Fools' Day is popular in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, and Australia. 

Interesting April Fools' Day Facts:
-April Fools' Day is also called All Fools' Day, and is celebrated on April 1st each year.
-The book The Canterbury Tales, written in 1392 by Geoffrey Chaucer, associated April 1st with foolishness.
-April Fools' Day pranks and hoaxes are meant to be harmless and funny.
-In 1698 an April Fools' Day joke tricked several individuals to go to see lions being washed at the Tower Of London.
-April Fools' Day in Scotland is called Huntigowk Day. In Scots the word gowk means a cuckoo or foolish individual.
-In Poland April Fools' Day is so strongly believed that an anti-Turkish alliance signed on April 1st with Leopold 1 in 1683 had to be backdated to March 31st.
-In Poland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway the media will often publish a story that is false in honor of Aril Fools' Day.
-Italy, Belgium, France, and Quebec, Canada often refer to April Fools' Day as April Fish. Part of this custom is to attach a paper fish to someone's back as a joke, without being noticed. This is referred to as 'Poisson d'Avril'.
-When New Year's Day was changed to January 1st in the 16th century in France some people refused to accept the change. They were often referred to as April fools.
-In Canada and in England April Fools' jokes are only supposed to be played until noon.
-Since 1986 there have been press releases issued to announce the April Fools' Day Parade in New York City. No such parade exists.
-In the 1950s the BBC ran a news story about a spaghetti harvest that took place in Switzerland. This prank is believed to be the best April Fools' Day prank of all time, resulting in many requests for spaghetti trees by viewers.
-In 1996 Taco Bell ran a story that they had bought the Liberty Bell and were going to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell.
-In 2010 a parody web video was released that claimed that President Obama was the 'greatest president ever' and that he had kept every promise he had made. The video was released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
-In ancient times court jesters were considered to be wise men, able to use humor to put things into perspective.
-Most April Fools' Day jokes include a prank, sending someone on an errand to find something that doesn't exist, or trying to get someone to believe something that is not true. 
-In France, April 1st is called "Poisson d'Avril."
-French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs.
-When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d'Avril!"
-In Scotland, April Fools' lasts two days. Victims of pranks are called gowks (cuckoo birds). The second day is known as Taily Day, and pranks involving the backside are played. Supposedly, it is the origin of "kick me" signs.
-In England and Canada, pranks are only played in the morning of April 1st.

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