The Origins Of “April Fools’ Day”

topfool100April Fools’ Day is celebrated every year on April 1st. People celebrate this occasion by playing jokes on other people around them. The purpose is to play a joke on someone and expose your prank by shouting ‘April fool’.

In 1392 Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” has the first recorded association between April 1st and foolishness. In his writing it states, “Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two,” which is translated as, “32 March,” this is where people came up with April 1st as April Fools’ Day. France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

The idea or custom of setting aside one day of the year for harmless pranks is recognized everywhere around the world, however, the day is not actually a public holiday in any country.