April Fools Day is a spring day reserved for practical jokes that may take you off guard. In fact, this April 1 custom has been going on for centuries and in many countries around the world. The surprising thing is that the origin of April Fools Day is not clear cut.
One theory to explain its mysterious origin may have started back in the 16th century in France due to a calendar change. At the time, the French used the Julian calendar to mark April 1 as the start of the new year. Later that century, they moved to the Gregorian calendar and marked January 1 as the new year. A likely explanation was that not all the villages were aware of the calendar change, which marked them as fools better known as poisson d’avril (April fish) to be taken advantage of.
On the other hand, another school of thought about its origin centers around ancient Rome and a spring festival of Hilaria that was typically celebrated at the end of March. The followers of this Roman cult would dress up in costumes to hide their identities and poke fun at the population and even the law such as magistrates.
While those two theories as to the origin of April Fools Day may explain the reason for its existence, there is still the possibility that it was tied to the vernal equinox. This happens one or two days of the year when the sun lines up precisely above the equator and night and day has the same length each. Due to that specific timing of the earth’s rotation, there were those that believed Mother Nature and the growing season could be fooled.
Have a wonderful April Fools Day and don’t take jokes and pranks too seriously.