On April 1, in many countries around the world people celebrate April Fool's Day, or the Laughter Day, as it is also called in Ukraine. On this day, people play pranks on each other and have fun.
The most famous theory is that April Fool's Day originated in France. Until 1582, French people celebrated New Year in spring - from March 25 to April 1. However, after the Gregorian calendar was introduced, the New Year holidays moved to current date - January 1. Due to poor communication, this news did not reach everyone and many continued to celebrate the New Year as before. Educated citizens started to make fun of those who remained ignorant: the most popular prank was to stick the paper fish to the back of such person and make fun of him calling him Poisson d'Avril (‘April fish’).
However, some Protestant countries, such as England, Scotland and Germany, adopted the Gregorian calendar only in 19th century. But at that time, they had long celebrated the annual Fool's Day.
Similar holidays were both in antiquity and in the Middle Ages.
In ancient Rome, the holiday of the fools was celebrated in mid-February. The historian Apuleu believed that in Romans the deception on April Fool's was connected with a holiday honoring the deity of laughter.
In ancient India, the festival of jokes was celebrated on March 31.
There is one more myth saying this holiday appeared due to Neapolitan King Monterey, who was given fish on the celebration of earthquake termination. A year later, the king demanded exactly the same fish. The same was not found, but the cook prepared another, similar. When the king recognized the substitution, he did not get angry, but was amused. Since then, April 1 jokes became a custom.
April Fool's Day is celebrated all over the world, but nowhere is it a day off. In the US, it is called “the holiday of heart, not the state.” The most popular jokes of American schoolchildren remain a tied wallet thrown on the ground or piece of paper saying ‘Kick me’ stuck to someone’s back. Adults would also do pranks. Mother can serve chocolate sweets with wadding inside, or a cake filled with rags.
In Germany, April 1 is considered an unlucky day. Germans believe that those born on this day will be unlucky. People in the villages do not work, do not start new cases, do not let cattle out on April 1. Adults and children deceive each other, sending them to do impossible tasks.
In Portugal, April Fool's Day falls on Sunday and Monday before the Great Lent. On this day, people throw flour at each other.
Supposedly, this holiday came to Ukraine from Germany at the beginning of 18th century. It was called a day of lies, or Maria the Liar — one of the popular nicknames of Mary of Egypt — a saint, whose day of commemoration by the old style coincides with April 1. On this day, the girls deceived guys to manipulate future husband.
On April Fools' Day, famous search engines also played pranks.In 2013 Google pranked users with the presentation of Google Nose application, allegedly transmitting smells to the user's personal computer. YouTube even posted a promotional video of the new service. And when the user clicked the button, a he would see: “With First of April!”