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April Fools’ Day 2024: When do you need to stop pranking? Rules explained

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You’d be a fool not to follow this rule (Picture: Getty)

Ahh, April Fools’ Day. A much-needed time for jokes, pranks and general silliness.

But if you’re busy this bank holiday, you might have no time to fool your family, friends or loved ones.

Many are delaying their gags until the evening for this reason, and some are even getting ahead of the curve and setting up their jokes before April 1.

April Fools’ Day always gives us a good laugh – but when should the jokes come to an end?

When should you stop telling April Fools’ jokes?

Sorry, but traditionally, you can only tell April Fools’ jokes until midday (12pm) on April 1.

After that time, you’re supposed to hold your hands up and come clean about your various pranks.

And April Fools’ Day rules confirm this.

Dating back to at least the 1700s, the rules state you can’t delay your jokes until the afternoon.

Anyone telling pranks afternoon is considered to be the fool themselves – as they either don’t know the proper rules, or have failed to properly acknowledge them.

Interestingly, nobody actually knows why there is a joke deadline for April Fools’ Day.

Where does April Fools Day originate from?

It is unclear where April Fools Day originates from – but there are many theories surrounding this.

One popular theory is that it began in 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, causing New Year’s Day to move from April 1 to January 1.

April Fools has been around for hundreds of years (Picture: Getty)

Many people still rang in the New Year on April 1, as they weren’t aware of the calendar change, and these people were laughed at and had tricks played on them, as they were ‘fools’.

Other people believe that the day marks Mother Nature playing tricks on us, as the weather at this time of year is often very unpredictable.

Is April Fools Day celebrated in other countries?

The UK isn’t the only country to play tricks on people on April 1, with lots of other countries sharing this tradition.

In Ireland, a long standing April Fools tradition was to give an important letter to a chosen ‘fool’ and ask them to give it to a certain person.

That person would then read the letter, and ask the fool to pass it on to someone else and so on.

When opened, the letter would read ‘send the fool further’.

In Italy, France and other French speaking areas, the day is called April Fish and a common prank is to attach a paper fish to someone’s back without them noticing.

Fish on your back? You’re a French fool (Picture: Getty)

In Poland, April Fools Day is taken very seriously and news outlets often cooperate with each other and write the same false stories to make them even more believable.


MORE :
The best April Fools’ Day pranks you can do over text, Facebook or WhatsApp


MORE : Is April Fools’ Day international? How it’s celebrated around the world

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