North Texas Daily

Wednesday brings April Fools’ pranks and fun

Wednesday brings April Fools’ pranks and fun

Wednesday brings April Fools’ pranks and fun
March 31
00:02 2015

Kayleigh Bywater / Staff Writer

From the small-scale gags like putting baby powder into a blow dryer to almost unforgivable pranks like filling a donut with mayonnaise, April Fools’ Day is full of jokes.

“April Fools’ is the one day where a person can let their inner clown out and pull clever pranks on family and friends,” media arts freshman Tatyana Medina said.

A look back

The history of this spoof-filled holiday, originally All Fools’ Day, is an unusual one. Although the exact origins are unknown, there is a basis for how the holiday originated.

In 16th century France, King Charles IX decided to swap the Julian calendar, which stated the beginning of the New Year was on April 1, with the Gregorian calendar because of a declaration by Pope Gregory. This resulted in the New Year being celebrated in January instead.

“It took some time for everyone in France to hear the news of this major change,” history professor Michael Leggiere said. “Others obstinately refused to accept the new calendar, so a lot of people continued to just celebrate New Year’s Day on the first of April. These April fools were subjected to ridicule and practical jokes and the tradition was born.”

In the 1500’s, French pranks included being sent gag gifts and being invited to parties that weren’t really happening.

Now, people all over celebrate the holiday in different ways.

In France, people who get fooled are called Poisson d’Avril, which means April Fish. Prankees get a cardboard fish cutout hooked to the back of their shirt as an example.

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If you like to walk on the dangerous side when pulling pranks or just don’t care about your friends feelings, Spencer’s wall of gags is there for you. From fake pregnancy tests, to electrocuting your friends when shaking hands, these gags will get your friends good.

Music education and performance freshman Sarah Seagraves said April Fools’ is all about fun and friendly competition.

“April Fools’ Day is different because no one is freaking out trying to buy presents or chocolate for each other,” Seagraves said. “I feel like I will be pranked and I am okay with that. I will just have something up my sleeve if that happens.”

Celebrating the holiday

Not everyone decides to partake in the festivities, but those who do have a great deal of options to choose from.

There are chattering teeth and wacky candy at stores in the area, and most sell a variety of gag gifts and offer ideas for any prankster.

“We have all kinds of products that people can buy, from fake cigarettes to hand buzzers to fake feces,” Spencer’s employee Tiffany Smith said. “People really get a kick out of everything we carry.”

Other stores like Five Below have a section dedicated to gag gifts and magic, which get a lot of traffic during this time of year.

Denton-based Atomic Candy carries items in creative and fun packaging.

“I think especially with it being this close to April Fools’ Day, people are on the hunt for items they can use to help improve their pranking game,” Smith said.

Besides pulling shenanigans on other people, there are also additional ways to participate in April Fools’ Day around Denton.

The Denton Breakfast Kiwanis Club is having a 2015 April Fools’ Day Rally at the Denton Bicycle Center.

People who contribute the minimum $20 donation will receive a commemorative T-shirt for the event, but won’t have to endure any training. The joke: there is no rally.

Though the event’s main goal is to raise money for charity, people will fool others in to thinking they competed in an intense bike race.

“It is important for people to take part in April Fools’ Day because we take life way too seriously sometimes,” Medina said. “I think we forget to let loose.”

Holiday expectations

“April Fools’ gives people a reason to walk up to a stranger and do something silly to make them smile,” Seagraves said. “I love seeing people smile and laugh. And it is really funny to see that feeling of relief when they realize something is actually a joke.”

Seagraves said she hopes people take the lightheartedness and joy they feel on April Fools’ Day and apply it to everyday life.

Although it’s just a quirky holiday, she said people could really learn from what they experience.

“Having a positive outlook each day like we should on April Fools’ would really change the way we as people act,” Seagraves said. “Instead of being bummed out or stressed, being optimistic about what will happen in the future rather than focusing on negativity could make someone a happier, more satisfied person in the end.”

Featured Image: Nothing says April Fools quiet like a pair of classic, chattering teeth. You can find this good ol’ laugh at Atomic Candy and Spencer’s. Photos by Hannah Ridings – Staff Photographer

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