Life Skills

Origins of April Fools (All Fools Day) Day

April Fools day has thrown me off since I was a kid.  I thought it was quite irrational if not ‘wrong’ that there would be a day when you could trick (a.k.a. lying) your parents and do pranks and not get in trouble.  I noticed people also enjoyed tricking me.  For me it was the only day of the year I could put saran wrap over the toilet bowl or point the water hose out of the back of the toilet tank and not get in serious trouble.  All I had to do was make the ‘April Fools’ mercy cry.  I knew something was wrong with this day.

The real moment of curiousity and intrigue came while I was living in Korea.  I was completely thrown off that Koreans also ‘celebrate’ this wacko tradition of tom foolery.  I thought it was another inexplicable western mystery (like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny)(which incidentally I have blogged on and de-mystified slightly) but apparently the Asians like to have a day of acceptable folly as well.

Here I am thirty some-odd years later and I still don’t have any of the answers so this year I started doing a little casual research that I thought I would blog for myself and anyone else who would like to solve the mystery of its roots. Especially absent seems to be the participation of Korea in this wackiness.  For example, did the west, by chance, steal the tradition from the east and claim it as their own (like chess perhaps) or vice versa?  This truly was intriguing.

I did the usual large search engine search and came up with the usual suspects:

  • Wikipedia page which lead to my favourite explanation of the day – Sizdah Be-dar from Iran
  • An info page by some info article site
  • Huffington Post article which contains lots of faith-rooted suggestions for the history.  This was probably the most enjoyable and generally interesting article of the three so far if you have to choose for the sake of time 😉
  • More?  Now it’s your turn to add to the learning

Since this is still a wild card, I would love if someone could, in the comments below, throw in some useful links so that by this time next year I can publish a very awesome ‘guide to April Fools day’ kind of thing.  I’m especially looking for when and how April Fools day started in Korea. I’m guessing at this point maybe the foreign soldiers brought it in and played pranks on their unsuspecting Korean comrades to improve morale and help them laugh amongst nasty blood shed?