Origin of April Fools Day

Olivia Longmore, Staff Reporter

Imagine waking up in the morning to the sound of chirping birds after a brutal winter storm a few days prior, and trying to walk out of your bedroom to find that you have been locked in. This is just one of the common pranks that are done every single year by my family. Why? The tradition of April Fools Day. April Fools Day -also known as All Fools Day- is held on April first. It is a lighthearted holiday where it is common for people to play pranks on their family or loved ones. While playing a trick on someone can be done any day of the year, what makes April first so widespread?

No one knows exactly where the origins of this holi8day started, but some historians believe it dates back to the medieval ages -perhaps somewhere near the Roman Empire. However, there are many theories on how or why this holiday became popular. According to Www. history.com, one of the theories dates back to 1582 when France decided to change their calendar from Julian to Gregorian. Until then, the first week of the new year had started from the end of March to the beginning of April, or April first. The people who did not receive the date of the new year became subject to scrutiny. They became the subjects of pranks that started with placing a paper fish on their backs and calling them an “April fish”, which meant that because a young fish is easily caught, the person with the fish was gullible.

Another theory suggests that it was started as a celebration of the Vernal Equinox, which occurs in the northern hemisphere. The vernal equinox is a changing of the seasons, as the time between March and April can cause a lot of doubt to whether or not Spring is here or whether it is simply a warm Winter day. Because of these differing theories, almost every country that observes this holiday has their own traditions. For example, Hilaria most heavily agrees on the vernal equinox theory in the tricky time where the seasons change. As a result, t is common for the people to wear disguises because as the seasons trick the people that they’re changing, the people will trick mother nature.

American organizations such as fast food chains or news stations have been known to host a yearly gag prank. Some news stations will report outrageous stories in hopes of fooling the public. For example, history.com talks about how in 1957 BBC news reported that Swiss farmers were growing noodles in their farms and picking them from trees. In another year the Burger King food chain released an advertisement for the new “left handed Whopper” meal that came out in the restaurants. Many of their customers were fooled into ordering this “new” sandwich.

While I look back at the time my mother convinced me I had to wear purple in celebration of this holiday, I do not regret when I replaced her vitamins with jelly beans. Whether your family chooses to observe this history or not, April Fools has become the most trickster day of the year. It’s almost as tricky as trying to figure out why or where this holiday actually came from.