April Fool’s Day, or All Fool’s Day as it used to be called , is a day to play pranks and silly games on friends and family. It is not a major holiday to be celebrated. The pranks and games played are all in fun and not meant to be harmful to anyone. The true origin of April fool’s Day remains unknown, but various theories have gained popularity over the years. Some believe the origins for April Fools’ Day are linked to the rituals of the spring equinox.
In 1563 King Charles IX decreed January 1 to be the first day of the year. Eighteen years later, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the new Gregorian calendar, and New Year’s Day was moved to January 1. Upon moving the official New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1, there were some people who hadn’t heard or didn’t believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April first. These people were called them “April fools” and often had tricks played on them. They were subject to ridicule, and were often sent on “fools errands” or were made the butt of other practical jokes.
Although this is a popular and widespread theory, it is not the only theory for the origin of the holiday, and many of the customs and traditions of the holiday were already well established prior to the calendar change. Yet another theory as to how April Fool’s Day came about is that with Spring starting in March , the weather played “pranks” on us by changing from warm to cold and from sunny to snowing. Still others theorize that it is similar to a part of the Hindu festival of Holi, a five-day celebration with bonfires and outdoor dancing, which ends with people being sent on fool’s errands on the final day.
No one really knows the true origin of April fool’s Day but the pranks and silly games have evolved over the years. There is a superstition that states that everyone who is playing pranks on others must be done playing jokes and pranks by noon on April 1st. If they do not go by this rule, they will have bad luck for many years to come. Another fun superstition is if a girl plays a prank on a boy then they will either get married or have a long lasting relationship.
The English, Scotch and French introduced the custom to their colonies in America. The “foolish” tradition is celebrated in Mexico, too, but on a different day and for different reasons. “El Dia de los Inocentes,” which is December 28, was set aside as a day for Christians to mourn Herod’s slaughter of innocent children. Over time, the tone of that “unluckiest of days” has evolved from sadness to good-natured trickery.
Have a safe day.