April Fools’ Day used to be taken so seriously in Scotland that it was a two-day event. Be thankful that it’s now only one day!
On Day 1, people were sent on pointless errands. This was called “hunting the gowk.” A gowk is a cuckoo bird. Day 2 was called Tailie Day, which involved pranks on other people’s butts. You know, like “kick me” signs. Pretty sure the cancel culture has ruled out Tailie Day.
The Scots may have leveled up this holiday but they did not pioneer it. It is said to go back to the Ancient Roman festival of Hilaria, which was a celebration of spring where people dressed in disguises that were often mocking or silly in nature.
Other historians say that it is linked to the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar when the new year began on April 1. People who did not get the memo were mocked and called April fish.
So now you’ve got the heads up that it’s April Fools Day and a little background so you are fool-proof. No April fish for you!