Heritage Holidays in Appalachia

April Fools Day


Cows in appalachia that turn the lights out
Will you pull a prank on someone today? Maybe try and get them to believe a tall tale?

I did a little Googling around to see if I could find the origins of April Fools Day. I was looking for a simple answer, but what I discovered was slightly different.

One explanation centers around France deciding to change it’s yearly calendar. During the process the start of the new year changed from April 1 to January 1. However as you dig deeper you find that couldn’t have been the start of April Fools Day because it was already being celebrated in other parts of the world.

In 1983 Joseph Boskin, a  professor, discovered April Fools Day began when the Emperor of Rome allowed a court jester to be Emperor for a day. As you would expect, the court jester declared the day should be full of silliness. The funniest part of Boskin’s discovery happened a few days later when he announced the discovery itself was an April Fools Day joke.

I’m terrible at playing jokes. I can never keep a straight face. On April Fools Day I’m usually the one falling for the punch line. As I kid I witnessed one successful prank. I was staying with a friend. Early on April Fools Day she woke her Daddy up to tell him the cows were out. He got up, put his clothes on, pulled his boots on, and went out to put up the cows. I remember thinking boy he’s going to be mad when he comes back, but he wasn’t. I guess once he got outside he realized what day it was. He came back in smiling and laughing that his daughter had pulled a good one on him.

Do you play jokes on April Fools Day or maybe you remember a good prank from days gone by?


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  • Reply
    April 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Yes, this year I put a post on my Facebook page and several people fell for it. I even had a couple of texts asking about it. tee hee

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    April 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Tipper: We got home on April Fools Day and I was so glad there were no tricks on me.

  • Reply
    Chef E
    April 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I told people I was pregnant, and so many came back saying congrats, yet they all know me, lol- now my son would have never believed me!

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    Miss Cindy
    April 3, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I’m like you, not much with jokes or pranks.
    I have a long time friend whose birthday is April 1st. He is absolutely the zaniest person I have ever known. His personality suites his day of birth perfectly….every day of the year!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I used to play a joke every year………..I guess I have slowed down a bit. Have a wonderful Easter! blessings, Kathleen

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    April 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I used to love to think of April Fool day jokes to play on the family. This year I was not even aware of the day. My daughter called and pulled a good one on me. It is a great way to keep the sense of humor alive. When I saw your topic I decided to glance at what you found. Isn’t it maddening to not know the origin of an activity. Just like finding your ancestors. 😉

  • Reply
    April 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I always pull a joke on my husband every year. It always has something to do with the water lines (he falls for it every year)This year I turned on the faucet and said, “Oh,no! The water’s muddy.” He fell for it, of course.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Tipper, Only one blog friend has played an April Fools Joke on us today…. She had me going !!!!! It was cute!!!!
    I will check out the hoax site when i have more time.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    April 1, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    We are in western NC on a family graveyard quest and a friend and his wife have been up checking on a cottage they are building. They left for home yesterday and I called him this morning to tell him that a storm-damaged tree had fallen on the cabin. The tone of his voice showed that he took the bait! Didn’t keep him on the hook but a few seconds before I said “April Fool”!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    April 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I’ve been known to do an April Fool prank now and then. When I was a child, I did the salt in the sugar thing but I’ve graduated to elaborate stories now . . .

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    April 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t play jokes either, usually. I try to avoid people, so I won’t get them played on me, lol!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2010 at 9:08 am


  • Reply
    April 1, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I don’t play jokes, but my brother does. when he was small, even at 5 years old, 4 years younger tham I am, he played them all day long on me and i ALWAYS fell for them. he could not get enough of it. i might just come up withone today and send him and email. it will take a little thought.

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    April 1, 2010 at 8:19 am

    That was a funnt story Tipper… I’m surprised he didn’t get mad over that one.
    When I was in school my mom used to wake me up and tell me it had snowed the night before and I would get excited thinking I didn’t have to go to school- then she say April Fool and I’d get all mad… funny thing was I fell for it EVERY YEAR! (You would have thought I would have learned after the first 4 or 5 years… LOL)

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