Do You Know What Day This Is?

It was a sunny Wisconsin morning the first time it happened. My mother screamed and ran into our bedroom waking my sister Patty and me from a sound slumber. I thought my small heart would explode. I bolted from our shared bed and followed her to the picture window of our apartment.

“There’s a purple polka-dotted elephant walking down the street!” she shouted.

“What? Where?”

When my little sister joined me in squinting through the glaring window, she said, “April Fools,” and then laughed. I didn’t think it was very funny at the time.

Through the years, I have played tricks on friends and family. My children ran to the window searching for purple giraffes, along with other strange colored creatures. I know. I am so mean. It must be genetic. Every year, I have tried to come up with new ways to trick my husband, such as, “By the way, we’re having company for dinner, so if you could stop and pick up some wine and a few things at the grocery store and then come home early to help me clean, that would be great. (Wait for it…) APRIL FOOLS!” The relief on his face is always worth it!

Yesterday, I checked my phone’s April calendar and noticed little lines under the some of the dates.  I didn’t remember saving any appointments, so I checked them out. April 22nd is Earth Day. The 15th is dreaded Tax Day. And the 1st is… April Fools’ Day!

Wait a minute… It occurred to me that if phones list April Fools’ as a holiday, everyone will know and no one will be fooled. That could begin the extinction of the holiday!

Ugh. That would be terrible. I have always looked forward to a day of pranking.


April Fools in Denmark. No. A subway car did not crash through the ground…

How did it begin anyway? There are conflicting reports which is no surprise since this is April Fools we are talking about. The following explanation gets my vote. During the Middle Ages, the first of the year was celebrated at the end of March. Then in the 1500’s, Pope Gregory XIII changed the Gregorian Calendar to start on January 1st.  Bells would toll across the land to “fool” other fools into thinking the 1st of the year still began in April.

I never noticed that the Pope named the calendar after himself! He died on April 10th. Irony or coincidence???

During the 1800’s in France, the first of the year changed to January 1st. People who celebrated on April 1st were ridiculed in that country as well.

“Ha. You peasants are such idiots…”

Today, in Italy, France, and Belgium, pranksters will stick a picture of a fish on their unsuspecting target’s back and then shout, “April Fish!”

April Fish

WHAT? That is so lame! How did that one start? Were they fed up with being called fools and substituted fish? And did they originally use real fish back in the day? Did they use minnows or mackerels? Apparently, that variation has something to do with the astrological sign Pisces.

April Fools’ Day will be celebrated in many countries today. Thanks Wikipedia for that specific information. How will we play any practical jokes if everyone knows and is already suspicious? My advice is to strike early before your friends and family have their first cup of coffee.

“Roxy! Look at that pink coyote trotting down the street!”

Purple spotted Roxy1

Consider this heads up, my gift to you. Now get out there and prank someone!

Do you plan to fool anyone?

87 thoughts on “Do You Know What Day This Is?

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  1. Awesome! I used to love pranking people but I’m so lame at it these days. I like the fish tradition, that’s funny.


    1. I have my years. This one started out well. I told Danny, “Look! We have our first swan on the pond!” He raced to the window and of course I yelled, “April Fools!” Teehee! It started off well… 🙂 Happy April Fools’ Day to you!


  2. This is my favorite day. I’m known for pulling some pretty elaborate (and, okay, mean) pranks. Once I told my manager at work I had discovered that my husband was cheating on me. With his best friend. Another man. Who happened to be the husband of my assistant manager. She fell for it completely because several of us were in on it, including my husband and the man he was ‘having an affair’ with. It was a long drawn out prank and was sooooo worth the look on her face. This was payback though for several pranks she had pulled on me.


    1. That is insane and worth a blog post! Hahaha! I have never gone to those lengths, but the day is still long…
      I think it will surprise many since Easter was yesterday and it is a Monday! APRIL TRICKSTERS UNITE! 🙂


    2. Was the wife of the man that your husband was supposed to be cheating with in on it? I agree with Susie — this is worth a blog post. With diagrams.


  3. Our tennis pro used wonky balls at the clinic this morning when all four of us stepped up to practise our serves. We looked like idiots and couldn’t figure out why we were all so terrible until he burst out laughing. The rest of us had totally forgotten it was April 1! It was a good gotcha! Have a good one, Susie, and let us know what prank you pull!


    1. I got him. I shouted, “Look! We have our first swan on the pond!” It was pretty quiet out there except for a mallard… Heehee!
      I have tennis tonight and will be on the lookout!


  4. Yes…, I know what day it is !!!! Where I live it’s Dyngus Day ! If you’re Polish you know what that is. If you’re not, mabybe not. It’s almost as much fun as April Fool’s Day. WHAT IS DYNGUS DAY?
    Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of lent and the joy of Easter. Over the decades, Dyngus Day has become a wonderful holiday to celebrate Polish-American culture, heritage and traditions.
    There are many stories that attempt to explain the origins of the day. Many Polish customs date back to pre-Christian practices of our Slavic ancestors. The custom of pouring water is an ancient spring rite of cleansing, purification, and fertility. The same is true of the complimentary practice of switching with pussy willow branches. Since 966 A.D., Dyngus Day has been associated with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I. Tradition states that Prince Mieszko I along with his court were baptized on Easter Monday. Thus, Dyngus Day and its rites of sprinkling with water have become a folk celebration in thanksgiving for the fact that the first king of Poland was baptized into Christianity, bringing Catholicism to Poland. In more modern times, the tradition continued when farm boys in Poland wanted to attract notice from the girls of their choice. It was custom to throw water and hit the girls on their legs with twigs or pussywillows. Cologne was used instead of water by the more gallant lads. The ladies would reciprocate by throwing dishes & crockery and Tuesday was their day of revenge, imitating the same tactics.
    According to the Encyclopedia Staropolska written in the 19th century by A. Gloger, the word can be traced back to a medieval form of the word “Dingnus,” which means “worthy, proper, or suitable.” Gloger cites a used of the word, namely “ranson during a war to protect against pillage,” as well as a German usage of “Dingen,” which means “to come to an agreement, evaluate or buy back.”
    It’s celebrated with Kraut, Kielbasa, and a lot of beer !!!
    Have a great day !


      1. Too funny. You could copy and paste this one for your own blog post!
        It sounds pretty violent. I will stick to throwing out foolery. 🙂
        Happy April Fools/Dyngnus Day!


  5. Oh, those crazy Europeans and their April Fish.

    Speaking of April Fools Day I have an appointment to get my taxes done later today. Hope the joke won’t be on me!


    1. Fools and taxes – What a combo! Good luck to you!
      I hadn’t heard about April Fish until I started blogging. One of my French friends wrote about the tradition. So very strange!
      Thanks Phil!


              1. When she was seven and I was freshly hatched, she put a piece of tape on my hand. I also happened to exit the oven with a full mop on my head; you know where that tape landed. This was the Eisenhower era so my mother basically beat the tar out of her for that stunt until she was nine, but somehow my sister managed to have a good time telling that story years later. It was worth the beating. As for me, I quickly wised up to her stunts.


  6. Thanks for the reminder! I used to fool my daughter all the time telling her I was pregnant! Then one year I really was. Oops! I think this year, since she up and ran off to Hawaii, I’m going to tell her we’re all coming to live with her. Bwahahahaha! She’ll D.I.E. It will be great.

    As for my husband and son… I’m off to get some fish. They should enjoy that. What a fun post! You’re always a font of awesome information.

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

    Love the pic of Roxy.


  7. I’m terrible at coming up with clever pranks for April Fools Day. However, my husband pulled a good one on me right after we were married. We were moving into our new apartment on April 1 and he came into the kitchen and asked, “Where do you want me to put this box of our wedding china?” and then dropped it on the floor with a china-shattering crash. I turned 50 shades of pale. “April Fools!” He had emptied the box and refilled it with old light bulbs, a hammer, and other crash-sounding material. Not funny.


  8. I don’t have the energy to prank anyone as I’ve been sick for almost 3 weeks, but neither have I been fooled on this day. This morning I’m pretty sure my radio station was playing a prank because the usual 2 morning guys weren’t there and in their stead were 2 really obnoxious guys. It took me a minute or two to figure out what the f%&* was going on. At least I hope it was a prank because otherwise I’ll have to find a new favorite station.

    You and your tricks – you little trickster. You’re like Kokopelli.

    Love Roxy’s spots. Or does she have the puppy measles?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. Hahaha! Roxy has a case of Microsoft Paint.
      There was an AP in the newspaper today about a flea circus that had frozen to death in Russia. I couldn’t find any other prank, but it was pretty funny!
      There is so much junk going around. I was exposed to my daughter and my husband who got the dreaded funk. My daughter is finally over it. My husband is calling the doctor as I type! I hope you’re feeling better soon!


  9. In Sweden the prank has make people take at least 5 steps … otherwise it’s not a successful 1th April prank. The best one … I went for was when Swedish TV … while TV still was black and white told us if we put a tights in front the screen we would get color TV – I think 95% of all viewers destroyed a pair of tights. Brilliant.


  10. Hey Susie there is a polka dotted elephant somewhere in the world extremely sad they you make fun of him lol
    i used to love it when we were growing. Up
    those pics are so funny
    have a great day, wish you fun and giggles. 🙂


    1. Nerves..
      I said to Danny this morning. “Hey look! We got our first swan on the pond!” He ran to the window and I yelled, “April Fool!”
      Not a big prank, but I fooled him! He groaned… Love it!


  11. Very amusing!
    I haven’t a hope any more. Every remark I make on 1st April is regarded with grave suspicion, even if I simply say it’s a nice day when it is.


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