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Instead of playing some elaborate April Fool’s Day blog joke on you (I have seen some really good ones in the past!) I’ll stick to a bit of basics around here!
The origins are uncertain – some celebrate it as a turning of the seasons (even though the first day of Spring is March 21) and some see it as stemming from the adoption of a new calendar.
The most likely origin that I’ve read surrounds Constantine and Kugel, though. Explained by Boston University professor Joseph Boskin, a group of fools and court jesters once told the Roman emperor Constantine that they could do a better job of keeping the Romans in line. Being (apparently easily) amused, Constatine allowed it – for a day. Appointing Jester Kugel as king for the day, he passed an edict “calling for absurdity” on the day. It then became an annual event. “In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”
There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the Associated Press (as this went to press in 1983) to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.
What are some of the best (or worst, I guess) April Fool’s Day jokes you’ve seen or heard of?
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