April Fool's Day
April Fool's Day is the first day of April and is known for practical jokes. The custom is believed to have originated in France in 1564 when New Year's Day was changed from April 1st to January 1st. Those continuing to observe April 1st were ridiculed.
It is believed that the tradition of April Fool's arose around 1582 in France, during King Charles IX's reign, when the calender switched from the Julian, to the Gregorian.
This meant that the New Year was celebrated on Januray 1st instead of the old New Year's Week, which ran from March 25 - April 1. However, some people, being unaware of the change due to the slow passage of news in those days, continued to celebrate New Year's Week; as did others who were more rebellious and who refused to acknowledge the change.
These people were labeled "fools" by the general populace, were subject to ridicule and sent on "fool errands," sent invitations to nonexistent parties and had other practical jokes played upon them. This harassment evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continue on the first day of April. This tradition eventually spread elsewhere like to Britain and Scotland in the 18th century and was introduced to the American colonies by the English and the French. 
Well Known April Fool's Pranks
- Taco Bell issuing a press release claiming the purchase of the Liberty Bell from the United States Government. The release also stated that National Landmark would be renamed the Taco Liberty Bell 
- The BBC "Panorama" documentary about the "Swiss Spaghetti Harvest", including discussion of the Spaghetti Weevil 
- A number of technology and internet based corporations such as Google routinely carryout such pranks by announcing fanciful new inventions on April the 1st.  
- Automotive Manufacturers routinely announce new "models" on April the First. 
Relation to atheism
See also: Atheism and holidays
The apologists Ray Comfort and Grady Scott have suggested that April 1st should be International Atheist Day, in reference Psalm 14:1, which states "The fool hath said in his heart, 'There is no God'."
- The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989
References and notes
- http://www.google.com/landing/nose Google April Fools Day Announcement 2013
- https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEUQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nickburcher.com%2F2012%2F04%2Fbmw-april-fools-day-2012-ad-bmw.html&ei=Va5ZUZuRE46hiAfMtYGICQ&usg=AFQjCNFtdRzB6fXEmojpZDobAC1BwUi5oQ&bvm=bv.44442042,d.aGc BWW April Fools
- Former Atheist Activist Patrick Greene Responds to Critics. The Christian Post (9 April 2012). Retrieved on 1 April 2013. “He also once threatened to sue "180" film creator and open-air preacher Ray Comfort for a bumper sticker produced by Comfort's ministry that suggested April Fool's Day should also be called "National Atheist's Day."”
- National Atheist's Day. The Christian Library (2000). Retrieved on 1 April 2013. “But what better day could one pick for National Atheists Day than April 1st, April Fools Day? The Bible makes this clear. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good" (Psalm 14:1). The Bible says that anyone who denies God is a fool!”
- Top 100 April Fool's Pranks
- International Atheist Day by Gareth Palmer
- April 1st — National Atheist's Day by David J. Stewart