April Fools Day
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Basic Information

In the Western World, the First Day of April is associated with practical jokes and general foolishness. It's known as All Fools, or April Fools Day.

The origin of the celebration is shrouded in mystery. The most popular theory is that when France reformed its calender in 1564 and moved the first day of the year from the end of March to the First of January, the people who stuck to the old celebration were mocked as Poisson d’Avril, or "April Fish". Noted hoaxologist Alex Boese casts doubt on this theory, though, because the French tradition was to celebrate the New Year on Easter, not on April 1st. The Calender Change theory might work if we assume the holiday originated in England, except that by the time England switched to the Gregorian Calender, All Fool's Day was already being celebrated.

Other possible precursors for the celebration of All Fools Day include the Roman festival of Saturnalia, the Festival of Lud and the medieval Feast of Fools

In modern times it is not uncommon for newspapers and other media to put out ridiculous news stories as April Fools pranks.

See Also:


Game and Story Use

  • A good day to run a silly game.
  • Also a good day for some kind of trickster spirit or fae to get loose.
  • As noted, a festival of misrule or inversion appears in many cultures.
  • A polytheistic culture with a strong (and relatively benevolent) Trickster archetype amongst its deities might well have this as a significant festival, perhaps on a holy day commemorating a particular prank or con played by the god in question (whether stealing fire for mankind, temporarily usurping the power of the head of the pantheon or inflicting a setback on some enemy of the gods).
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