“It has been celebrated in the UK since at least the 19th century,” explains Andrea Livesey, a historian from the University of Bristol. “Children were commonly the victims of these pranks!”
布里斯托大学历史学家Andrea Livesey 说：“英国至少从19世纪就开始庆祝这个节日了， 孩子们通常是这些恶作剧的受害”。
Andrea told us that not everybody agrees where the festival come from.
She says: “There is surprisingly little known about the origins of April Fools’ Day and there are a large number of completely different – and quite entertaining – theories of its origin.”
So let’s have a look at some of them.
Theory 1 – Poetry 说法一：诗歌
“Some have argued that a story told by early English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century – where a fox plays a prank on a rooster – is the first reference to pranks taking place on the first of April.”
The poet doesn’t actually directly refer to April 1st though. In the poem, he says 32 days “syn March began”, which people have said is “32 days since March began” which would be April 1st.
But those who don’t believe this theory say he was just using confusing words to make fun of people in the poem.
Theory 2 – Calendars 说法二：日历
Some believe the tradition started because of events in the calendar.
Something called renewal festivals date back to Roman times. These were a celebration at the start of a new year or season, when things went a bit topsy turvy.
“Servants could control masters or children could control their parents!” says Andrea.
There is another calendar theory about when people started celebrating new year at the beginning of January, instead of the end of March.
Those who continued to celebrate it at the end of March, rather than on 1st January like we do today, were considered to be fools and had jokes played on them.
Theory 3 – Fishing in Europe 说法三：欧洲之渔
It is actually known as April Fish Day in some areas of Europe.
People think this is because there are a lot of fish in French streams and rivers around 1st April, and they are easy to catch – foolish fish!
So it soon became a tradition to play tricks on people on April 1st too.
“It is still a common trick in France, and elsewhere in Europe, to attach a paper fish to somebody’s back on April Fools’ Day, and also to give chocolate fish as gifts,” Andrea says.
So it appears we don’t actually know for sure where April Fools’ Day officially started.
But one thing’s for sure – people have been playing jokes on April 1st for a very long time!
小编也要赶紧写完这篇文章去机场， 老板说已经帮我买好了去美国度假的机票， 这么难得的机会， 我可不能误点！