|Young pranksters mark April Fools' Day by tying a kite to old man's wig in a circa-1770 illustration. |
Illustration from Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Happy April Fool's Day
No, we're not joking, we really are starting a blog. We hope to use this space to provide our patrons with information about interesting events, issues, or reference desk tidbits. If you have something you would like to know about please let us know...which leads us to our first entry.
Did you know???
Origin of April Fool's Day
Most sources suggest that April Fool's Day began as a French tradition and was originally called "poisson d'Avril". That's right, an April Fish. This saying referred to young fish that could be more easily caught or fooled.
An "April Fool" or "Fish" was someone in France who did not recognize the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calender. This change was officially adopted in France in December of 1582 and meant that the New Year went from March 25th under the Julian Calendar to January 1st under the Gregorian calendar. Under the Julian Calendar, new year festivities would culminate on April 1st with visits and presents. Under the Gregorian Calendar mock visits and gifts were exchanged to make fun of those who forgot the date change of refused to conform to the new calendar. The fun migrated to Britain in the early 18th century and the rest is history.