When Did April Fools’ Day Start?

Friday, March 30, 2012 posted by Joan
Motivational Greeting Stone

Inspirational Greeting Stone

Although many people across the glove play jokes on others on April 1, no one really knows when, how or why this custom started.   The popular theory of the origin of April Fool’s Day dates back to the change from the Old Julian calendar to the current Gregorian calendar in 16th century.  In the Julian calendar,  New Years was celebrated from March 25 and April 1; but in the Gregorian calendar, it was changed to to January 1. Because communication was difficult and people resisted the change, many French people continued to celebrate the old New Years.  Those people were made fun of and had jokes played on them around the old New Year (March 25 – April 1).  However, the concept of a festival day for fools can also be traced back to the medieval Romans.  According to Roman mythology, the ancient Romans had such a day calling it All Fools Day.  While others believe that April Fools’ Day came from the old European spring festivals which included pranks and hiding one’s identity.

In past centuries, popular April Fools’ Day pranks in Europe were “fools errands” or  wild goose chases and other types practical joking.     In France, the custom of jokesters sticking fish on the backs of those who participated in pranks spread quickly.   In Scotland,  April Fool’s jokes were known as April “Gowks” (cuckoo bird).  In recent years, the media has played jokes on their readers and listeners.  BBC made a documentary of the annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland showing strands of  pasta being harvested from ” a spaghetti tree.”  In recent years, Google invited people to sign up for a Mars Exploration project.

So be suspicious of what you read, view or hear on April 1 or you may become an April Fool.  Also, remember to carry your good luck stone with you to keep you away from malicious pranksters.

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