April Fools’ Day: Why celebrate it
April 1st is celebrated in much of the world as “April Fools’ Day”, which is a great opportunity for everyone to have a few laughs. On this day, it is common to play creative pranks on other people, who we hope will take them with humour.
April Fools’ in other European countries
This day is celebrated with jokes and pranks in most of Europe. Most of Spain is an exception, where “El Día de los Inocentes” — literaly “the day of the innocent” — takes place on December 28th. Only in Menorca, an island that follows Anglo-Saxon tradition, it is celebrated on April 1st too.
In France, this day is called poisson d’Avril and in Italy pesce d’Aprile, which means “April fish“. This is because in these countries people usually put a paper fish on the victim of this prank.
In Germany, on the other hand, when someone makes a joke, it is normal to hear laughter followed by the phrase “April, April”.
Theories on the origin of April Fools’ Day
The origin of this day is not as well known as its celebration. There are two main theories about it.
The first and best known dates back to the 16th century. It is said that at that time, i.e. before the change to the Gregorian calendar, the New Year was celebrated from 25 March to 1 April.
However, in 1565, the regent’s calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar at the request of the King of France, changing the beginning of the year to January 1st. However, the French and the American colonies took some time to adopt the new calendar and continued to celebrate New Year’s in April. This led to their being called “the April fools“.
The other theory links the sudden rush of good mood to the change of seasons. According to it, changing from the cold, gray winter to the colorful spring led people to be in a better mood, thus more prone to make jokes for fun.
Jokes in the Internet Age
Since the Internet has become a fundamental part of our daily lives, pranks are no longer limited to real-life friends and family. In recent years, it has been common for different companies and brands to play jokes on their users with funny images or advertisements of new fictitious products.
This is how, for example, a well-known Internet video service announced that it would no longer accept videos. Another service of this type, announced as a joke, that they would launch a video platform only for cats. The launch of an all-chocolate burger was announced on social networks by a well-known fast food chain. Something that, unfortunately for many, did not happen.
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The Benefits of having a good sense of humor
The benefits are many. On the one hand, it not only helps us relax or relieve stress, but also has positive effects on our social relationships. The most relevant studies in this regard are, for example, one that relates good humor to relationships. It says that having a good sense of humor is not only more attractive to the other person, but also sharing a similar sense of humor with your partner brings the two of you closer together. A good sense of humor also helps to deal with conflict and crisis situations in the relationship.
Likewise, having a good sense of humor helps us to increase our creativity and the brain’s processing speed. A study’s finding showed that people who improved their mood with music and videos that stimulated positive thoughts were able to solve problems faster than those who did not. According to the scientists who conducted the study, this is because happiness and humor made the participants discover different sides to the problems, finding a solution faster and blocking emotions such as fear.
And you, how do you celebrate this day? Let us know in the comments! 😀