It’s a Fool’s Day on the 1st of April

By | Apr 1, 2017

April Fools’ Day, which is sometimes called All Fools’ Day, is one of the most lighthearted days of the year. While its origins are uncertain some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it comes from the adoption of a new year.  Many cultures celebrated the beginning of the year on or around the spring equinox.

One theory deals with the switch in 1752 from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.  Among the changes was that the year would begin on January 1st.  Under the Julian calendar the first day of the year was April 1st.  Various jokes were played upon those who clung to the old calendar system.

One possible origin of April Fools’ Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, with the custom becoming an annual event.

It also is seen as occurring because of turning of the season, winter to spring leads itself to lighthearted celebrations.  Many different cultures have had days or weeks of foolishness around the beginning of spring.

Practices include sending someone on a “fool’s errand,” looking for things that don’t exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.

One superstition says that the pranking period shall end at 12 noon on April 1st. Any jokes after that time will call bad luck to those who breaks the rule.


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