April fools! Obviously we aren’t going to publish some cheap lists like every simple social media platform likes to do. It’s april fools today! This means you should be extra aware and you can trust nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, for 24 hours. Today no economic analysis, but a history lesson. It is important that the students of the ESV are broadly educated and know about the history of our beautiful culture.
So how did we start pranking each other on the april 1st, which we call April Fools? There are multiple stories that try to explain this, but there isn’t any consensus about it. The story most of us heard in the Netherlands is about the conquering of Den Briel by the Geuzen. The Geuzen opposed the spanish rule in the 80-year war. Alva, a Spanish duke, controlled Den Briel with a flemmish army. On April 1st the Geuzen attacked Den Briel and drove off the spanish army. Thus the saying was born ‘On the first of April Alva lost his Bril.’ Bril referring to Den Briel.
I do not know how war and jokes are related to each other, but it is not very reasonable to think that this is the reason for April Fools day. April Fools isn’t only a special day in the Netherlands but over the whole world. In france they call it ‘poisson d’avril’ which means something along the line of ‘April fishing’ where they try to stick a paper fish on an unsuspecting person. Oh silly French…
A more likely theory is from France. Pope Gregorius XIII changed the calendar in 1582. Till that day we celebrated New Years Eve from 25th of March until April 1st. With the change of the calendar new years moved, as we know, to Januari 1st. The reason for the change is so that the calendar and sun are more aligned with each other. The people who were pranked were the ones that forgot about the change or simply did not accept the change of the calendar. These people were invited to parties that weren’t held or they got funny presents from the people that did know about the change of new years eve. Also this theory is quite unlikely as the absolute origin of April fools, because there were already references to April fools before 1582. Also, England didn’t change their calendar until the 18th century.
Oh well, nobody knows exactly what the origin is of this day. We do know that since the 19th century April Fools became more populair due to jokes being placed in the newspaper. In the 21st century it is probably for the best to avoid social media at all costs, because every company or writer tries to play a prank on you purely for marketing reasons. An example of this is by the Hema in 1968. The Hema announced that they would remove smoked sausage (a very popular product from the Hema) from their stores, because ‘People would ask for a lighter in order to smoke their sausage’. When people actually tried to smoke the sausage in the store they quickly withdrew their joke.
For the people that did came for inspiration… put some toothpaste in an Oreo. Classic.
Tags: Maikel de Leeuw