Why is April 1 considered as ‘April Fools Day’?

Posted on Apr 1 2014 - 11:51am by IBC News

April 1, well known as ‘April Fools Day ‘ has been considered as one of the most interesting days of the year worldwide. People celebrate this day by playing pranks on family and friends. It is a time when mischievous pranks are openly welcomed.

The theories related to the facts and origin of April Fools are listed below:

1. The origin of April Fools Day was first recorded on the basis of the Biblical Theory. Its origin stems from the day in which Noah – one of the tenth and last of the pre-flood Patriarchs, sent a dove on 1 April to find dry land before waters subsided.

2. Another theory points to the fact that on 1 April, Jesus was sent from Pontius Pilate to Herod and back again. This day has been often considered as an old expression of sending someone on a fool’s errand, thereby signifying that this could have marked the essence of the April Fools Day.

3. The change from Julian to Gregorian Calendar also indicates the origin of April Fool’s Day towards the change from Julian to Gregorian calendar. In the past, Europe celebrated New Year on April 2, when friends and family members often exchanged gifts under the Julian calendar.

As soon as this calendar converted into a Gregorian calendar, it resulted into a major chaos.

When the new calendar, which is named after Pope Gregory XIII was introduced in 1582, it considered January 1 to be celebrated as New Year’s day. Some people, who had forgotten about the change, continued celebrating New Year on April 2. Hence, the forgetful ones became victims of various pranks and jokes on the first day of April.

4. Ancient Romans celebrated the festival of Hilaria on March 25, with games and amusements, and some believe April Fool’s Day start there. Today Hilaria is known as Roman laughing day.

5. The British Theory is also believed to be one of the reasons as to why this day is considered as a day of pranks. According to the British culture, the 13th century King used to declare every road he walked as public property. On April 1, he had decided to travel to a town known as Gotham, which is based in Nottinghamshire. But the residents denied the entrance of the king in Gotham. Getting annoyed by this behaviour, he sent his armies to the town who were perplexed to find all people engaging in stupid activities such as drowning fish. After observing these activities for quite a long time, he declared the town too foolish to even warrant punishment, thus giving rise to the idea that 1 April was a fool’s day.

How do people around the world celebrate ‘April Fool’s day’?

Life 123 stated ‘April 1 is also officially known as ‘Poisson d’Avril’ in France. School kids interpret this day to be meant for ‘April Fishes’. They enjoy this day by tapping a paper fish to their friends’ backs.’

In Scotland, the April Fools day event lasts two days.  April 1 is Hunt-the-Gowk Day (gowk means cuckoo), and April 2 is Taily Day. On both these days, pranks are aimed at people’s bums, or bottoms. This is how the ‘Kick Me’ sign originated.

In Iran, people start playing pranks on the 13th day of the Persian New Year and that tradition dates back to 536 B.C.

Last but not the least, it’s better not to forget that the April Fools day pranks and jokes should not last beyond 12 pm.