Many countries have a day for foolery. Here in the USA, April 1st is our day for practical jokes and
|Alas, poor Yorick!|
According to Wikipedia, April Fools may have originated because those who celebrated New Years on January 1st made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. And the precursors to these types of days include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25th, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December 28th. This is still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries. The central idea of the Feast of Fools seems to be a brief social revolution, in which power, dignity and impunity is briefly given to underlings. Most would say this makes the medieval festival a successor to the Roman Saturnalia.