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'April Fool!' (Oh no, here it comes!)

An April fool in Denmark, regarding Copenhagen's new subway. It looks as if one of its cars had an accident, and had broken through and surfaced on the square in front of the town hall. In reality, it was a retired car from the subway of Stockholm cut obliquely, with the front end placed onto the tiling and loose tiles scattered around it. (Photo: Lars Andersen)

Guess what's just around the corner? Yep, April Fool's Day. And you know what that means: You're either going to play some clever pranks on people, or you're going to have them played on you!

But who came up with April 1 as the day of jokes and other silliness? According to, there are several theories about how April Fool's Day started. Here are a few of them, according to the website:

"Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.

"People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.” These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

"Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele. It involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens and even magistrates and was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris and Seth.

"There's also speculation that April Fools' Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather."

Well, we know all about that in Indiana!

Just for laughs -- and maybe inspiration for your own jokes -- go to the website to read about some of the greatest April Fools Day pranks in history:

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