April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. While it’s not a national holiday for any country, it is widely recognized and celebrated as a day where people play practical jokes on each other.
While the history of April Fools’ Day is uncertain, it is said that it began around 1582 in France when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, moving New Year’s Day from the week of March 25 – April 1 to January 1. Since news traveled slower in those days, some people were only informed of the change in dates years later. Those people that still celebrated the New Year at the end of March were labeled “fools” and had practical jokes played on them.
- In 16th century France, the butt of a joke was known as “poisson d’avril” or “April Fish” because a young naïve fish is easily caught.
- In England, the tradition is to only play jokes in the morning, as it is considered bad luck to play a joke on anyone after noon.
- The Museum of Hoaxes in San Diego has an April Fools’ Day Archive – a catalogue of April Fools’ day hoaxes, pranks and related events from the 19th century to today.
- Offer sales or discounts “too good to be true” in honor of the holiday.
- Advertise your latest menu offerings or products with signs that say, “Don’t be a fool… try our _____!”
- Offer every 5th customer (or, whatever!) a small discount at the register. They might think it’s an April Fool’s joke, but it will be a nice (and sincere) surprise for them!
Check out our Marketing Holiday Calendar for more dates to celebrate!