April Fools! From Boca Raton Pawn
We love to celebrate holidays at Boca Raton Pawn. And what better holiday is there than April Fools Day? I mean after all, we got you to click on the link, so you fell for it! Did you really think you were about to get a free Rolex? Come on, man! April Fools can be dated all the way back to 1392 from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. It is a once a year tradition to act foolish and play harmless jokes on one another. On any other day, you would be considered mean, but on April Fools Day you were just celebrating the holiday. No harm no foul right?
It’s all believed to have started over 600 years ago in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The “Nun’s Priest Tale” is set Syn March bigan thritty days and two. Some modern scholars believe that there was a copying error and Chaucer actually wrote Syn March was gon. The passage originally meant 32 days after march, aka May 2nd. Readers apparently misunderstood the line to mean “32 March” aka April 1st. In the tale the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.
Then in 1508 French poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April Fool, literally April Fish) as a possible reference to the holiday. Also in the 16th century a Flemish poet Edward de Dene wrote about a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1st. John Aubrey in 1686 referred to the holiday as “Fooles holy day”. And in a famous joke in 1698 many people were were tricked in going to see the lions washed at the Tower of London.
Another theory as to why we celebrate April Fools Day stems from the Middle Ages. Back then, New Years was celebrated on March 25th in most European towns and in some towns in France, New Years was a week long celebration ending on April 1st. Some writers suggest that those who celebrated on January 1st made fun of those who celebrated on April 1st.
One famous hoax involved the BBC. They had a current affairs series called Panorama. On April 1st they broadcast an episode that showed Swiss Farmers picking freshly grown spaghetti which they called the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. Later, the phone lines rang off the hook with people looking to purchase a spaghetti plant! They had to declare it was a hoax on the news the next day.
April Fools Day, while embraced by most, also has a dark side. Hoaxes or pranks that go too far are often criticized. A lot of times, when real news is broadcast on April 1st, many take it as a joke. Almost like the boy who cried wolf. So public companies have to be very careful what they put out into the world. Or sometimes jokes are taken seriously and bad things end up as a result. In my opinion April Fools Day is a fun unofficial holiday in which we can get together as a society and play a little joke. There’s nothing wrong with laughing and messing around for a day.