April Fools’ Day and it’s origin

2016-03-31 06:00

ALTHOUGH its origin is obscure, April Fools’ Day - 1 April - is still looked forward to by many people, as practical jokes and hoaxes are the order of the day.

Newspapers, radio stations and websites also prank readers and listeners.

These jokes are meant to be harmless and light-hearted.

According to discovery.com one of the most common theories about April Fools’ dates back to 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull decreeing a new standard calendar for Christian Europe that would take his name and centuries later become the standard internationally in the 21st century.

Prior to the 15th century, the Julian calendar was used. The Gregorian calendar moved the date of the new year from 1 April to 1 January, among other changes.

In dealing with these changes, the Europeans continued to celebrate the new year between 25 March and 1 April.

Other theories indicate that the Ancient Romans held a festival known as Hilaria, also known as Laughing Day, to celebrate the resurrection of the god, Attis.

Persian culture also has a holiday with a similar theme, known as Sizdahbedar. On this day, which typically coincides with April Fools’ Day, Iranians play pranks on one another.

Closer to home, in 2015, one of the top pranks was reported in Die Beeld that President Jacob Zuma decided to pay back the money for the security upgrades in his Nkandla home.

He was to make the payment by posting a cheque at the post office.

The Daily Maverick said that singer Steve Hofmeyr may join the EFF as a senior strategist.

It read: “Hofmeyr’s new party communications officer, Chestington Missinga, said Hofmeyr’s first order of business would be to expel all puppets from the party, both political and actual­.”

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