The first of April is known as the date of April Fool’s Day: a day to spend between games and fun. But where does this tradition come from?
Today is April 1st, the day known as April Fool’s Day. It is on this occasion that children and teenagers organized jokes to pay homage to this tradition. But how was this custom born? The origins of April Fool’s Day are unknown, although several theories have been proposed. One of the most remote would concern the blessed Bertrand of San Genesio, patriarch of Aquileia from 1334 to 1350, who miraculously freed a pope choked in the throat by a herringbone; out of gratitude, the pontiff would have decreed that fish should not be eaten in Aquileia on April 1st.
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April fool: the story
Another theory among the most accredited places the birth of the tradition in the France of the sixteenth century. Originally, before the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1582, it was customary in Europe to celebrate the New Year between March 25 and April 1, when gift packages were exchanged. The reform of Pope Gregory XIII moved the holiday to January 1st, which is why the tradition seems to have arisen of delivering empty gift packages on April 1st, jokingly wanting to symbolize the now ancient holiday. The name that was given to the strange custom was poisson d’Avril, precisely “April Fool”.
Another hypothesis sees the first spring peaches of the past as protagonists. Often it happened that the fishermen, not finding fish on the seabed in the first days of April, returned to port empty-handed and for this reason they were the object of laughter and ridicule on the part of their companions.
Why exactly this shy and silent animal? According to the story, Cleopatra organized a nice April Fool’s day for her Roman lover Marc Antony during a fishing contest. Antonio, in order not to run the risk of a humiliating defeat, had instructed a slave to secretly attack his prey on the hook, but the Queen of Egypt, discovered the deception, had a gigantic fake fish covered in leather hooked on crocodile, and Mark Antony had his April Fool!
The most famous April fool
For years even authoritative institutions such as the BBC, MIT or CERN lend themselves to this annual date, while over time for companies the The first of April has become a real one marketing opportunity.
- According to the journal Nature, dragons really existed and would be ready to return to populate the Earth due to global warming. But beware: the news was published on April 1, 2015
- In 1998 Burger King published an ad on Usa Today announcing the launch of Left-Handed Whooper, their classic burgers designed to be eaten more easily by left-handers.
- In 1976 the famous astronomer Patrick Moore announced to the BBC that, due to an exceptional alignment of Pluto and Jupiter, the Earth’s gravity would also be affected, causing all the inhabitants of the Earth to float weightlessly.
- For April Fool’s Day 2010 Google temporarily changed its name to Topeka, this is because the year before the same city of Topeka, in Kansa, had changed its name to Google to get noticed by the company and be chosen as the headquarters. of his new experimental service
- In 1961 the newspaper La notte announced that the municipality of Milan had approved a provision that obliged all horse owners to have a license plate, in order to facilitate easier recognition.
- On 1 April 2018 Lego announced a potentially revolutionary product: a vacuum cleaner designed not only specifically to collect small building bricks but above all to return them divided according to shape and color. Too good to be true
- The BBC has a great tradition of jokes despite its proclaimed seriousness: in 1980 it announced that the famous Big Ben clock would be replaced by a digital system and that the old clock would be donated to the first listeners to call. A request even came from Japan