April Fools’ Day History: The Truth Behind the Pranks

April Fools’ Day is upon us yet again! That means the chance for mirthful pranks played on hapless friends, frenemiesapril fools day, family members, and coworkers. But before you unscrew the top of the saltshaker, short sheet your roommates’ bed, or fill your boss’s shoes with spiders, let’s take a moment to consider where April Fools’ Day began in the first place. While we all know April 1st is a day for merriment in the form of oft-misguided attempts at humor, what is the origin of April Fools’ Day, anyway?

It all goes back to the trenches of World War I, when beleaguered allied soldiers began looking for respite from the horrors of war, mostly in the form of lighthearted practical jokes. Popular pranks included tying a comrades’ bootlaces together before they went “over the top”.

April Fools’ Day has been “celebrated” for several centuries in countries around the globe. And, in fact, the practice seems to have developed almost independently in several different regions. As with most holidays, there is not one finite history of April Fools’ Day, but rather a few different factors that, in confluence, helped lead to the modern interpretation of how one should conduct himself or herself on April 1st.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

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