ORIGIN OF APRIL FOOL's DAY
There are several explanations for the origin of April Fools' Day, but the following is the most plausible one. April 1st was once New Year's Day in France. In 1582, Pope Gregory declared the adoption of his Gregorian calendar to replace the Julian calendar and New Year's Day was officially changed to January 1st. It took some time for everyone in France to hear the news of this major change, and others obstinately refused to accept the new calendar, so a lot of people continued to celebrate New Year's Day on the first of April - earning them the name 'April fools'. The April fools were subjected to ridicule and practical jokes and the tradition was born. The butts of these pranks were first called poisson d'avril or 'April fish' because a young naive fish is easily caught. A common practice was to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke. This evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continues on the first day of April.
April Fools' Day Pranks
While Americans will typically shout, "April Fools!" after pulling off a prank, Europeans sometimes refer to the holiday as "April Fish," as many observers will tack a paper fish to another's back and yell "April Fish!" However, the individual pranked is still referred to as the "Fool." Fish are often featured on European April Fools' Day cards. Traditional pranking often stops at midday in the United Kingdom, and if one pranks after this time, they themselves become the fool.
Hunt-the-Gowk Day is Scotland's version of the holiday, where one sends a messenger back and forth between another person, each time saying that they need to contact the other before the issue can be resolved. However, this practice is dying out in modern times. The Persian New Year falls on April 1st, which is marked in Iran with one of the oldest pranking traditions that still exist. This is actually another theater as to the holiday's origin.
Many other cultures celebrate April Fools' day similarly to the United States, and others may designate a "joke" day on another day of the year, such as May 1st for those living in Denmark.
The Earth Loses Gravity: in 1976, BBC Radio 2 reported that due to rare astronomical alignment of Pluto behind Jupiter, the Earth's gravity would decrease. Listeners were told to jump in the air at 9:47 AM to take advantage of this, which would result in a floating feeling. Many reported that they had felt this floating sensation, one even stating that she and her friends lifted from their chairs to float around the room together.