Fools come out Thursday

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***April 1 is known as April Fools’ Day. In many countries such as the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany, April 1 is recognized as a day of pranks, a day to play practical jokes on others and fool the unsuspecting.
There are many theories as to the origin of April Fools’ Day. One theory is that it all began in 1564 in France when the calendar was reformed and became Gregorian. King Charles IX proclaimed that New Year’s Day should be celebrated January 1.
Before, celebrations took place March 25, which was considered as advent of spring and continued until April 1.
Traditionalists who held on to April 1 as New Years’ Day or those who forgot were scoffed at as fools and sent foolish gifts and invitations to non-existent parties.
The victim of a prank was called “poisson d’avril,” April fish, because at that time of year the sun was leaving the zodiacal sign of Pisces. Over a period of nearly 200 years, the practice of playing jokes spread from France to England.
Early settlers brought it then from England to the U.S.