Amid the hazy origins, it’s true that some form of April Fools’ shenanigans are celebrated across the world. The first record of a recognised pranking day takes us back to 1392 in The Canterbury Tales, a series of 24 stories by Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer’s narrative The Nun’s Priest’s Tale in the Ellesmere manuscript describes Chanticleer, an egocentric cockerel, who is deceived by a facetious fox. Similarly, Hilaria, an ancient Roman festival of frivolity, predates most theories. At the end of the day, different cultures adopt different tales of origin as the truth. Oh, the irony – perhaps the whole world is fooled?
When it comes to British banter, the rule of thumb typically states that all pranks must be implemented by noon. Be warned – the pranker who fails to adhere to this stipulation then becomes the fool! Names for the jokester and the unassuming victim vary across the board. For example, in Cornwall, the fool is a ‘noodle’! Other fool names in England include ‘gob’, ‘gobby’ and ‘noddy’. One account dating back to April 1, in 1698, states that people were lured into the Tower of London under the guise of witnessing the washing of lions. Then again, English thinker and natural philosopher John Aubrey talked of a ‘Fooles holy day’ in 1686, which some believe is the first British reference.
The Day Of The Holy Innocents on December 28 is the April Fools’ equivalent in parts of Latin America and Spain. Rooted in religion, the holiday has manifested over the years into a lighthearted version. As well as remembering the slaughtered innocent souls that fell victim to King Herod, communities now play tricks on each other, resulting in the jesters calling out some variation of ‘innocent forever’ or ‘ you innocent little dove that let yourself be fooled’. In Portugal, the Sunday and Monday before Lent is the April Fools’ Day rendition, where many chuck flour over friends. Communities in Poland also play pranks on April 1 and refrain from entering into any activities deemed as serious.https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/articles/the-very-confusing-history-of-april-fools-day/