What the traditions say : Buckle up tight and keep your wits about you. The silliest day of the year comes tomorrow. Clever brains are storming with the newest of hoaxes and stunts that can either make you burst into bouts of laughter or cry like a little babe. The online circuit is dripping with crackpot ideas —– from the epic jokes to the up-to-the-date tricks —– and the smart ones are poised to catch out the fools on April 1, however safe one tries to play. While some of us may be left popeyed at the crack of dawn, the amusing pranks are sure to make us playful and jubilant when we call it a day. Let’s hop on a quick tour of the world to find out how the ALL FOOLS’ DAY is celebrated in different cultures …
** ENGLAND : Going by traditions, in England people are allowed to pull a prank on someone only during the morning hours of All Fools’ Day, and the victim is quirkily called “noodle”. In Cheshire County, an April Fool is an “April Gawby” or a ‘gobby’ or ‘gob’. In Devon, however, tricks are allowed in the afternoon too. In the Lake District, a victim is called an “April Noddy”.
** SCOTLAND : The Scots are so much into hilarity that the fools’ day celebrations go o for two days ——– the first is called “Hunt the Gawk day”, in which a person takes part in a mission to send someone on a fool’s errand ; the second one is known as “Taily Day”, which largely involves posterior jokes.
** PORTUGAL : This country celebrates the fools’ day on the Sunday and Monday before Lent. Their signature prank involves throwing flour on someone.
** FRANCE : In this country, April 1 is called “Poisson d’Avri”l (meaning April Fish). In a bid to pull a prank on others, school children stick a picture of a fish (poisson) on the back of a classmate, who is absolutely oblivious of it, and then wait for the trick to be discovered.
** IRAN : According to Iranian traditions, it is customary to spend the afternoon outside with family and friends on April 1, which is also the 13th day of the Persian New Year. They celebrate the onset of spring by indulging in food, laughter, games and good-natured jokes.
April 1 is often referred to as a light-hearted springtime holiday. The origin of the day being celebrated as fools’ day, however, is shrouded in ambiguity. According to many, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the late part of 1500, the New Year was changed from April 1 to January 1, however, a bunch of people continued to follow the old tradition, and thus were labelled ‘fools’. But, of course, the celebration of both these days are quite different from each other.