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Almanac keepers cover up for April Fool pranksters

April Fool’s Day may be the best known modern red-letter day that is still not mentioned in the University of Helsinki’s official calendar. The almanac keepers say they don't want to ruin the day for pranksters.

Silliä ja kuravettä.
The object of a practical joke eats herring that has been sitting in muddy water, not brine. Image: YLE / Toni Pitkänen

Anyone with street smarts will take most things they’re told today with a pinch of salt. That’s because April 1 or April Fool’s Day is known throughout the western world as a day when practical jokers lay traps for the unwary.

April Fools or All Fools Day is widely observed as a time when pranksters declare open season on their unwitting friends and family members.

Some historians trace the practice back to medieval times, although the exact origin is still under debate.

According to the University of Helsinki’s Almanac Office, April Fool’s Day may be one of the best known red-letter days that is still not recognised in its official calendar.

The calendar keepers at the Almanac Office have occasionally considered adding April 1 to the list of important days on the calendar, but have invariably decided not to do so.

After all, they don't want to get in a way of a good practical joke by warning potential targets of what may await them.


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