Lying Media Bastards

April 1, 2007

Fools and Fish


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I am surprised to find very little information out there about the history of April Fool’s Day. The seemingly accepted story is that when the Catholic church switched from the old Roman “Juilan Calendar” to the newly formulated “Gregorian Calendar” in the late 1500s, that some folks didn’t catch on that the start of the New Year had also changed, from April 1 to January 1. And these people who hadn’t caught on, or refused to use the new calendar, were tricked and mocked. If true, it would seem that April Fool’s day was a way for Catholics to harass non-Catholics into conforming to their new way.

However, there seems to be little historical evidence to back this story up, and a little counter-evidence that Britons were celebrating this holiday long before their nation adopted the Gregorian Calendar.

I am also told that the French celebrate the holiday by sticking pictures of fish on each other’s backs. I don’t quite get that.

If anyone else has a better explanation of how the holiday got started, please send it my way. And don’t worry, I will not post any fake stories on here to trick you today.

[update]

Okay, I’ve got to admit, Google has a couple of good April 1 pranks linked from their Gmail and search engine main pages here and here.

Posted by Jake on April 1, 2007 8:30 am

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