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April Fools' Day history and quotes

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Celebrated on 1 April every year. April Fools’ Day is widely recognized and celebrated in many countries as a day when people play practical jokes on each other called April fools.

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In France, French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their backs. "Poisson d'Avril!" (April Fish!)

In Iran, jokes are played on the 13th day of the Persian New Year (Nowruz), which may fall on 1 April 1st or April 2nd. This day is called Sizdah Bedar and has been celebrated as far back as 536 BC, considered to be the oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today-many to believe that April Fools' Day has its origins in this tradition.

In Poland, prima aprilis ("1 April" in Latin) Serious activities are usually avoided because this is a day full of jokes and hoaxes.

In Scotland, April Fools' Day is traditionally called Hunt-the-Gowk Day. The traditional prank is to ask someone to deliver a sealed message; the message reads "Dinna laugh, dinna smile. Hunt the gowk another mile." The recipient, upon reading it, sends the messenger to another person with the identical message, the next recipient sends the messenger to another and so on.

In the UK, It was a custom to shout "April fool!" The UK tradition called for the joking to cease at midday. A person playing a joke after midday became the "April fool" themselves. This practice has lapsed in more recent years. Except for Australia, most Australians are accepting when pranks are pulled after midday.

United States, Americans play small tricks on friends on the first of April. One common trick is pointing down to a friend's shoe and saying, "Your shoelace is untied."

The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool's Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
[--Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)--]

Small April sobbed, I'm going to cry
Please give me a cloud to wipe my eye;
Then April Fool, she laughed instead
And smiled a rainbow overhead.


Rhonda Cratty includes her experiences of 30 years of public school teaching, raising children of her own, and articles written for on-line and hard copy publications -within the pages of Learning at home. Learning at home can be purchased in print or eBook form through


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