April Fools' Day
Have you ever played a joke on someone and
then, just when that person has fallen for it, said "April
Fools!"? April 1 is known as April Fools' Day, and, although no
one really knows how the holiday began, it's a great chance to
play a joke on someone--as long as the joke is harmless. April
Fools' Day gives everyone a chance to play "the fool." In France
the fooled person is called poisson d'avril ("April fish"), and
in Scotland the person is called a gowk (cuckoo), the symbol of
Also called All Fools' Day, April Fools'
Day has been observed for centuries in several countries. The
timing of the holiday seems related to the vernal equinox (one
of the two days in the year when the sun is exactly above the
equator, and nighttime and daytime are the same length). The
vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring (usually around
March 21), when nature "fools" mankind with sudden changes in
Mother Nature is not the only one who plays
tricks on people; you can see another kind of fool in the
drawings on this page.
The custom of playing April
Fools' jokes in America came from Britain. The holiday is still
observed by both kids and adults with simple jokes as well as
involved hoaxes. So when April 1 rolls around, it's time to play
a good joke on someone and then shout "April Fools'!"