What day is April Fools' Day 2023? What is its history, and ideas for pranks and jokes for kids and adults
April Fools’ Day is celebrated around the world
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It’s officially spring, which means it’s almost time for another important annual event - April Fools’ Day.
What exactly is April Fools’ Day, when is it this year and how long has it been celebrated, and what are some of the best pranks you could pull on your friends and family? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is April Fools’ Day?
April Fools’ Day takes place on 1 April every year.
This annual event is celebrated by people all over the world pulling pranks on each other and telling jokes. People often try to trick their loved ones into believing something which isn’t true, in a harmless way.
The media and big brands often get involved with the day too and will share funny, but ultimately untrue, stories and posts. Traditionally, pranksters can only pull their pranks up until midday.
Anyone telling jokes after the noon deadline is often considered a fool themselves because they don’t know the rules or don’t want to follow them. It is not clear when this time limit came from, and some people do not choose to observe it. People will often reveal their pranks after midday on 1 April, or on April 2, by exclaiming ‘April fools’ to the recipient.
When is April Fools’ Day 2022?
This year, April Fools’ Day takes place on Saturday 1 April.
What is the history of April Fools’ Day?
April Fools’ Day has been celebrated for many centuries by various cultures, but the origin of the day remains unknown. Some believe it began in 16th-century France, when January 1 was declared the first day of the New Year instead of the beginning of the Spring equinox, which was around 1 April. It is said that it, unsurprisingly, took people a while to get used to this change, and those who forgot or resisted the change were called April fools.
Others believe April Fools’ Day is linked to the Spring equinox itself, which takes place in late March each year. This is because for a few weeks after this date, including 1 April, there is unpredictable weather and people can’t be sure if they need their sunglasses or their scarves.
In Britain, one of the earliest mentions of April Fools can be found in a 1708 letter to Britain’s Apollo magazine, where a reader asked the same question we are still asking today: “Whence proceeds the custom of making April Fools?” In 1686, English writer John Aubrey referred to the celebration as "Fooles holy day". This suggests April Fools’ Day has been celebrated since at least the 1700s.
Is April Fools’ Day a bank holiday?
April Fools’ Day is not a bank holiday in the UK, or most of the world. In the Ukrainian city Odessa, however, April 1 is an official holiday and has a special local name, Humorina. An April Fool prank is revealed by the prankster saying “April the First, I trust nobody" to the person they have fooled.
There is a festival which includes a large parade in the city centre, free concerts, street fairs and performances. Festival participants dress up in a variety of costumes and walk around the city pranking passersby.
In most countries, April Fools’ Day doesn’t have much significance beyond the humour of the actual day, but in Greece it is said that if a person can successfully trick someone on 1 April then they will have good luck for the entire year.
How can I trick someone this April Fools’ Day?
Every year, April fools pranks seem to get bigger and more elaborate. You don’t have to go to extreme lengths for a good prank, however, there are some quick and easy ways to fool your loved ones.
A classic, but timeless, trick is swapping sugar for salt. Another prank that’s related to food is giving a friend or family member a tube of what appears to be a delicious snack- but it’s actually a snake in a can which will jump out and scare them.
You could also change the language settings on someone’s phone so they all of a sudden find everything they type is in a different language. The same prank can also be achieved by changing the settings on someone’s television, even if it’s just adding foreign subtitles. They’ll soon get frustrated. Just make sure you know how to change the settings back.
If you really want to confuse someone, you can paint clear nail varnish over their bar of soap in the shower or next to the sink, wait for it to try and then wait for them to question why it won’t lather.