Arising from the doldrums of winter, April Fools is an international day of practical jokes. A day for shenanigans, laughter and humor; its origin is unclear.
Some say the humorous celebrations may have followed the adoption of the reformed calendar when New Years shifted from April 1 to January 1. Those who continued to celebrate the new year in April were called fools.
According to the wisdom of The Old Farmer's Almanac, "If it thunders on All Fools' Day, it brings good crops of corn and hay."
In France and Quebec, April 1 is called Poisson d'Avril, "mackerel" in French. Since mackerels are pretty dumb and easy to catch, "poisson" means fool. Ah, but take heart today if somebody fools you because according to the Spanish Proverb, "every person is a fool in somebody's opinion."
And, as French poet and critic Nicholas Boileau-Despreaux once observed, "Sometimes a fool makes a good suggestion."
The word April comes from either Aprilis, the Roman derivation of Aphrodite, the Greek name for Venus, or from the Latin verb aperire, meaning "to open." April's flowers are the sweet pea and daisy; the month's gem is the diamond.
The best gag is when the person fooled laughs the loudest.