Fools Day is another of this type of event that has grown into a custom rather than become associated with bad luck, of course that does not include the poor victim of a practical joke carried out on Fools Day, who could be said to have encountered a piece of bad luck. The humor of fooling someone has reduced down to suggesting that a shoe lace is undone and immediately the victim looks at their shoes they are told its Fools Day.
A French theory behind Fools Day that appears to offer some credibility is when France introduced 15t January as the official New Year’s Day back in 1564 it made redundant what other country’s had been using until then i.e. 15t April. This change of New Year’s Day impacted on the world by moving the date when people received New Year gifts or attended New Year celebrations. However those who did not know about this change in the world calendar became the focus of ridicule with pranksters sending them empty gift boxes as New Year presents on ~ St April. The fact that France possessed the power to significantly alter the world calendar simply because Charles IX decreed it seems fantastic today but the world was a very different place then and France was a leading world civilization. The prankster in regard to April Fools Day possibly developed from then because children attracted by the notion of playing pranks associated with April Fools Day would likely have appeared to them as a gift in itself without much in terms of retribution.
However in Britain April Fools Day did not really become a commonly identified custom until the eighteenth century, although 15t April was recognized as a day ofcelebration, possibly a redundant reference to the change of New Year’s Day. Certainly France and Britain have throughout history been so closely linked in several customs holidays and celebrations that would make naïve the thought that New Year’s Day was not shared by the communities of both countries in much the same way long before the eighteenth or even the sixteenth centuries.
In addition the Dutch have a version of the reasons behind the existence of April Fools Day that also possesses some credibility. Again in the sixteenth century the Netherlands was ruled by Spain while roaming bands of Dutch rebels struggled against the occupation of their country. In 1572 a band of these rebels captured the town of Den Briel and began a general uprising against the Spanish. The commander of the Spanish army failed to stop the uprising and during the actions that occurred somehow lost his spectacles. This occurred on 1st April 1572 and the Dutch continue to refer to the fact that the Commander a man called Alba lost his spectacles. For this reason 1St April is a significant date in Dutch history and continues to be celebrated even today. The association with Fools Day is that the Spanish Commander was made to look a fool because he lost his spectacles and that led to the Spanish losing the battle against the Dutch people.