April Fool's Day

Published on 2021-04-01 / By Hammy@trefeddian

Over the years, many a prank has been played between staff at the Trefeddian on April Fool’s Day. The most notable was played a few years ago when one of the receptionists wrapped the entire office in newspaper!  

A few years later, a Facebook prank was played and many of our followers were very excited when we announced that we had been granted permission to create a 30 meter long water slide which connected the fourth floor to the swimming pool!

For the office pranksters, April Fool’s Day is as eagerly anticipated as Christmas. After all, at what other time of the year can we think up such wild practical jokes and get away with our mischievousness?  

As with everything else, this year will be a lot different. With just two people working in the office at the moment, there won’t be many capers going on, if any.  

So what is April Fool’s Day and how did it originate?    

The origins are a bit muddled in history but it is suggested that it began back in 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. In the Julian Calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1st. 

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognise that the start of the new year had moved and continued to celebrate it on April 1st became the butt of jokes and were called “April fools”. Pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolise a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

April Fool’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, with different countries having different traditions. In Britain, it is said that a prank must be played before noon as it is bad luck to play a trick after that time.  

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk”, in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them!

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio, TV stations and websites have participated in the April 1st tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences.

Top Tip: Don’t eat a custard doughnut on April Fool’s Day!