The origins of this custom are complex and a matter of much debate. It is likely a relic of the once common festivities held on the vernal equinox, which began on the 25th of March, old New Year's Day, and ended on the 2nd of April.
Though the 1st of April appears to have been observed as a general festival in Great Britain in antiquity, it was apparently not until the beginning of the 18th century that the making of April-fools was a common custom. In Scotland the custom was known as "hunting the gowk," i.e. the cuckoo, and April-fools were "April-gowks," the cuckoo being a term of contempt, as it is in many countries.
One of the earliest connections of the day with fools is Chaucer's story the Nun's Priest's Tale (c.1400), which concerns two fools and takes place "thritty dayes and two" from the beginning of March, which is April 1. The significance of this is difficult to determine.
Europe may have derived its April-fooling from the French. French and Dutch references from 1508 and 1539 respectively describe April Fools' Day jokes and the custom of making them on the first of April. France was one of the first nations to make January 1 officially New Year's Day (which was already celebrated by many), by decree of Charles IX. This was in 1564, even before the 1582 adoption of the Gregorian calendar (See Julian start of the year). Thus the New Year's gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of the 1st of April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair game for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and paying calls of pretended ceremony on the 1st of April.
In France the person fooled is known as poisson d'avril (April fish). This has been explained as arising from the fact that in April the sun quits the zodiacal sign of the fish. The French traditionally celebrated this holiday by placing dead fish on the backs of friends. Today, real fish have been replaced with sticky, fish-shaped paper cut-outs that children try to sneak onto the back of their friends' shirts. Candy shops and bakeries also offer fish-shaped sweets for the holiday.
There are a 100 pranks in: April Fool's Day Pranks. We've selected a few:
The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
In 1957 the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied that they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."Planting seeds is important. Renae from Life Nurturing Education writes about the Dirty Work and importance of preparing before planting seeds.
It is interesting to see what young seeds grow into. Jen who writes in her Diary of 1 recounts listening to Business 101 From an Eight-Year-Old.
As public schools "hope for the best," NerdMom of the Nerd Family explains that public schools are really “Educational Welfare” in the Heart of the Matter.
The Taco Liberty Bell
In 1996 the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
I wonder if Katherine from No fighting, no biting! saw the Liberty Bell on their return trip from Washington DC in directions? keys? then off we go...
They saw combining food with learning improving the learning process. Home Spun Juggling shows how to teach your children about The Trojan Graham Horse.
What would Patrick Henry say? Timothy Power from Sometimes I'm Actually Coherent evaluates the recent court rulings from California in I'm Not So Sure I Like Where This Is Heading...
Samuel Adams will be ringing the bell to ralley the citizens. The Weekly Muse from Love 2B Homeschoolers warns that The homeschooling laws in CT may be changing.
Have your children sold tacos? Barbara Frank in Our Entrepreneurial Homeschooler says the Moores were right: homeschooled kids have lots of entrepreneurial opportunities, from lemonade stands to much more.
In 1977 the British newspaper The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement devoted to San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semi-colon-shaped islands. A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Its two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. The Guardian's phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot. Few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer's terminology. The success of this hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades.
Picking the right font can make a difference for a book. Mandy of Home Sweet Home is getting ready to homeschool her son next year and found treasure: FREE Books!
Every day a newspaper prints the equivelent of a book. SmallWorld reports on how their Support Group ended in up in the Local Newspaper.
It is always good to be thoughtful about what you read in the newspaper. Sebastian at Percival Blakeney Academy takes a closer look at an article on Muslim Homeschoolers.
Even with the right font, you still need to print the books. Ruby from Freehold2 explains why there are No Textbooks for English Students at the public schools in Quebec.
There are so many books, it can be helpful to have suggestions on what to start with. The e-Mom from C h r y s a l i s has several lists of 100 Books Every Child Should Read.
Hotheaded Naked Ice Borers
In its April 1995 issue Discover Magazine announced that the highly respected wildlife biologist Dr. Aprile Pazzo had discovered a new species in Antarctica: the hotheaded naked ice borer. These fascinating creatures had bony plates on their heads that, fed by numerous blood vessels, could become burning hot, allowing the animals to bore through ice at high speeds. They used this ability to hunt penguins, melting the ice beneath the penguins and causing them to sink downwards into the resulting slush where the hotheads consumed them. After much research, Dr. Pazzo theorized that the hotheads might have been responsible for the mysterious disappearance of noted Antarctic explorer Philippe Poisson in 1837. "To the ice borers, he would have looked like a penguin," the article quoted her as saying. Discover received more mail in response to this article than they had received for any other article in their history.
Homeschoolers often think outside of the books. The Thinking Mother shows the homeschooling attitude can extend beyond academics in her book review of Swim with Me.
Homeschoolers often travel Homeschooling and Learning Resources points out a few ways homeschoolers can have Unique Learning Adventures.
Do your children know their geography? Henry of Why Homeschool is having fun with the poll widgets and wonders How much time do you spend homeschooling your children?
Do your children know their math? Maria from the Homeschool Math Blog is giving away two T-shirts from Homeschool Boutique with a slogan of your choice.
Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity
In 1976 the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
Stephanie from Stop the Ride! tells us an inexpensive way to take field trips year round in A Free Fun Day (almost). Maybe some day our children will take field trips on the moon.
To understand science it helps to have a firm foundation in math. Denise at Let’s play math! provides some help for parents who have children struggling with Subtracting mixed numbers: A cry for help. Key point: try to make it more simple.
Studying science can help us understand logic. The Headmistress of The Common Room expounds on some logical fallacies in Some People Commit Crimes, So Investigate EVerybody
Issac Newton made a great break though which helped us to understand gravity. The Little Homeschool on the Prairie shares their progress in Newton and Notebooking.
Google claimed that Google's search results were created by vast batteries of trained pigeons. "Building upon the breakthrough work of B. F. Skinner, Page and Brin reasoned that low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) could be used to compute the relative value of web pages faster than human editors or machine-based algorithms. And while Google has dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect of our service on a daily basis, PigeonRank continues to provide the basis for all of our web search tools."Some times we can be confused by our dreams. Brenda at The Family Revised shares her reflections looking back on their first year of homeschooling – the dream vs. the reality.
Google balances many factors in selecting the web pages which may be match a search pattern. The Life Without School Blog says Home Schooling, Share Schooling and Cooperatives is a balancing act.
Google is very supportive of robotics. Alasandra of Alasandra's Homeschool Blog Awards reminds use that homeschoolers do more than study at home. She writes her son joined the Team Fusion 364 which took a prize at the Bayou Regionals.
Do you ever wonder what kind of handwriting pigeons would have? From The Daily Planet Amanda says one of my favorite school subjects was handwriting... hence, I Heart Handwriting!
On April 1, 1998 the homepage of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced some startling news: the prestigious university was to be sold to Walt Disney Co. for $6.9 billion. A photograph of the university's famous dome outfitted with a pair of mouse ears accompanied the news.
The press release explained that the university was to be dismantled and transported to Orlando where new schools would be added to the campus including the School of Imagineering, the Scrooge McDuck School of Management, and the Donald Duck Department of Linguistics. The fact that the announcement appeared on MIT's homepage added official credibility to it. But in fact, the announcement was the work of students who had hacked into the school's central server and replaced the school's real web page with a phony one.
I would be tempted to go to MITkey Mouse University. CampusGrotto has some ideas about what to consider when you take your homeschooler out on College Visits and Tours.
What kind of tour with MITkey Mouse University give prospective students? From Consent Of The Governed Judy discloses what they have learned in Doing College Visits.
Are you teaching a child to read? The World According to Me has a review of Sing, Spell, Read and Write. Once chldren start to read the magical world of reading opens to them.
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