April Fools’ Day: How Dit It Start?

On 1 April every year, the world celebrates April Fools’ Day, or also known as All Fools’ Day in some parts of the world. This day is synonymous with the custom of playing practical jokes on people in your life. For example, telling your friends their shoelaces are untied or sending them on so-called fools’ errands.

In modern times this has been through sending someone into the hardware store to buy “blinker fluid” for your car so you don’t run out of how many times you can turn with your car. The corporate world has also gotten involved with things like announcing a major name change, theme change, or a fictional product that is very far-fetched.

April Fools’ Day has been a part of our lives and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. On the first of April, we are all on high alert because you never know if you would become someone’s target and end up with pie on your fact accidentally.

Although the day has been observed for centuries, its true origins are unknown and effectively unknowable. It resembles festivals such as the Hilaria of ancient Rome, held on March 25, this festival honored Cybele, an ancient Greek Mother of Gods, and its celebrations included parades, masquerades, and jokes to celebrate the first day after the vernal equinox. Another origin could be the Holi celebration in India, which ends on March 31. Even the Jewish calendar has Purim.

Perhaps there’s something about the time of year, with its turn from winter to spring, that lends itself to lighthearted celebrations.

Some have proposed that the modern custom originated in France, officially with the Edict of Roussillon (promulgated in August 1564), in which Charles IX decreed that the new year would no longer begin on Easter, as had been common throughout Christendom, but rather on January 1. Because Easter was a lunar and therefore moveable date, those who clung to the old ways were the “April Fools.” Others have suggested that the timing of the day may be related to the vernal equinox (March 21), a time when people are fooled by sudden changes in the weather.

April Fools’ Day is a fascinating holiday filled with laughter and pranks, but we will never really know its true origin, but it is fun to speculate though.

Stay Curious! Stay Blessed!

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