The history of April Fools' day

By Elise Gabriele,

April Fools' Day is a day to play tricks on your friends, family and coworkers and for them to prank you back. But have you ever wondered how this hilarious holiday originated?

How this annual tradition came about is a mystery, according to National Geographic.

However the most popular theory dates back to France in the 1500s. France changed its calendar so that the New Year would begin in January instead of late March or early April in order to match the Roman calendar. However, considering the time period word traveled slowly and the people who lived in the rural areas of the country continued to celebrate the new year in the spring. Hence, the country people became known as the “April fools.”

Yet, not all historians agree with this interpretation of the past. Curator of The Museum of Hoaxes, Alex Boese (who has studied the origin of April Fools extensively) stated that he believes the holiday was a custom established in Germany by the early seventeenth century.

Boese told National Geographic, “[The French] theory is completely wrong, because the day that the French celebrated the beginning of the year was Easter day, so it was never really associated to April 1st.”

He explained that he believes the tradition of pranks grew out of age-old European spring festivals of renewal, in which pranking and hiding one’s identity to fool others was common.

We may never know the true source of April Fools' Day but as long as the whoopee cushions are being placed on chairs and door frames are covered in plastic wrap, we’ll always be glad for the laughs the holiday gives us.

For a list of April Fools pranks visit guyism.com



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