Everything you should know about April Fool’s Day

Facts April Fools Day1st April is like the official day to play pranks on each other. I remember in childhood, I used to be skeptical in stepping out of the house as people could really make you feel giddy about yourself. I always questioned the whereabouts of this fun day and gathered the following information which you all should know. Ask anyone passing by, “What is an April Fool’s Day?”. You would get an answer, “People play fun, bully you, prank on you and I also do the same”. There must be some history of origin to it – right?

Here is all that you should know about this day.

Is it a New Year Day?

Many ancient cultures of the world like the Romans or the Hindus celebrated New Year’s Day on or around 1st April that closely follows the Vernal Equinoxes on 20 and 21st March (Mother Nature fools us with a changing and unpredictable weather.). On 25th March, during the medieval period, much of Europe also celebrated New Year’s Day. Pope Gregory XIII replaced the Old Julian Calendar with the new Georgian Calendar in the year 1582 and thus the New Year’s Day shifted to 1st January. But many people refused to follow the new calendar and continued their celebration on 1st April. Now those who accepted the norms of the New Calendar started sending fool’s errands to those who still continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on 1st April. This desperate practice of playing a trick to believe something false became famous in Europe fast. So, here lies the root of April Fool’s Day.

Some confusion with the above explanation

Some major difficulties still arise when we see other records of that same time. Firstly, the spread of April Fool’s Day to other European countries apart from Rome, Italy, sounds like lame. Because until 1752, the Georgian Calendar was not adopted by England but we see pranks of April Fool’s Day prevalent in England before 1752. Secondly, only conjecture cannot be correct and these explanations are based firmly on conjectures.

Maybe April was fooled during times of Constantine and Kugel!!

Joseph Boskin, a professor of History in Boston University has another explanation. He was of the belief that April Fool’s Day was prevalent in times of Constantine. A group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they can run the empire better than he does. Constantine was pretty amused and offered one of those fools or jesters, Kugel to be a king for one day. Now, Kugel passed a diktat calling for incongruity or preposterousness on that day and thus the annual event of April Fool’s Day begun. This explanation became public in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in the year 1983. The tagline was: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for AP to grasp that they are the target of April Fool’s joke!

In this reference, another world famous prank comes in mind that happened in 1957. It was BBC that conveyed that Swiss farmers were witnessing a record spaghetti crop and also displayed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees!!!

Something lies in the air of Spring:

The Romans had a festival named Hilaria on 25th March where they rejoiced the resurrection of Attis. The Hindus celebrate Holi. The Jewish celebrate Purin. These festivals also rely on playing pranks on people in a foolish way. Maybe there is something light and breezy in the Spring air that leads people to celebrate fool’s day.

The actual time and period when April fool’s Day came into existence is still vague. These were just the speculations made by history aiming to know the roots of the world famous fool’s day. Hope you have enjoyed it.

Keep checking this space as some terrific April fool’s idea would be shared with you all soon in our next blog.