The Origins of April Fools’ Day

April 1 is a day to celebrate foolishness and trickery. Essentially April Fool’s Day is credited as a day to make your family and friends look ridiculous with practical jokes. Interestingly, there are several theories behind the origins of April Fools’ Day.laughing 150x150 The Origins of April Fools’ Day

According to Mashable, the most common theory behind this day begins with a tale:

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull that created a new standard calendar for Christian Europe that would adopt his name and would later become the standard internationally in the 21st century. However, before the 15th century, Europe used the Julian calendar. One of the changes the Gregorian calendar made was moving the date of the new year from April 1 to January 1. Such a change in a large population was difficult to follow, and as a result, some continued to celebrate the new year between March 25 and April 1. “April fools” were those who still celebrated the holiday at the wrong time, and as a result were subject to pranks and ridicule by those following the reformed calendar. And thus, April Fools’ Day was created.

There are a variety of other holiday occasions and traditions occurring in other countries around the world that closely resemble April Fools’ Day. In India, for example, a colorful Hindi festival called Holi is held, that is celebrated by people playing jokes and throwing colorful dyes on each other.

April 1 is a long celebrated holiday that allows its participants to be silly pranksters. What’s the best prank you’ve ever done?

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About Nicole Bradley

I am the Digital Media Intern for the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, VA. I am originally from New Jersey, but am currently a student studying journalism in Washington, DC. I love uncovering new and exciting places and events in DC, taking advantage of all the city has to offer.