The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School



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April Fools: Facts and Fun


By Monica Brewer

April Fools Day is one of my favorite holidays because people can prank each other without getting mad.  Throughout the years, people have been pulling pranks on each other and starting prank wars to see who can be the king of pranks.  After years of pranks and tricks, have you wondered where April Fools Day came from?

April Fools Day has a few claims of origin.  According to some, in 1582, Pope Francis the Eighth ordered a new calendar (The Gregorian) to replace the current calendar (The Julian). This moved the start of the new year from April 1 to Jan. 1.  Those who didn’t get the memo, “foolishly” still celebrated the new year on April 1. Another theory is that some people in France in this time period didn’t like this change, so in retaliation, they deliberately celebrated New Years on April 1.

According to USA Today, the first documented reference to April Fools activity was in 1561 by a Flemish poet. You can read the original in medieval Dutch here, or you can trust the translators who say the poem is about a nobleman who send his servant on ridiculous errands as a joke on April 1.

A more recent claim of origin was made as a joke by a college professor in 1983.  The professor (Joseph Boskin) was called for an interview to explain the holiday’s origins. He told the gullible reporter that the holiday was based on a practice that began during the reign of Roman emperor Constantine. According to Boskin’s tale,  a court of royal jesters said they could run the kingdom better than Constantine.  Constantine allowed a jester by the name of Kugel to run the kingdom for a day.  On that day, Kugel made an official order to absurdity on that day and April 1 was made an official event.  Boskin’s story gained the public’s attention in a Associated Press article printed in many newspapers during 1983.  It took the AP a couple of weeks to find out that they were victims of a practical joke.

What are some of the best pranks that you could possibly pull?  There are the classics like the joybuzzer and a cup of water on top of a partially opened door.  But has some clever new ideas, such as pickling a head or a toilet surprise. Click here for more ideas.

Or you can celebrate as they do in France on April Fools Day (otherwise called April Fish). Pranksters put pictures of fish on another person’s back.  It’s a ticking timebomb, for when the person finds the picture of the fish on their back, they have to cry out, “Poisson d’Avril” (which means April Fish).  Watch out for the pranks this year.  Don’t slip on banana peels and don’t be the victim of a prank gone wrong.

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