You Could Have Fooled Me!

I’ve always agreed with the saying that, “laughter is the best medicine.” I guess that’s why I’ve always liked April Fools’ Day so much. I think a little joking around keeps everyone on their toes and in a positive state of mind, as long as it’s all done with a kind spirit. But I never really understood why the first of April is the day set aside for hoaxes and pranks, so I did a little research. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about April Fools’ Day.

Although April Fools’ Day, or as it’s known in some places All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated all over the world for hundreds of years, no one is quite sure when or why it started.

The concept of festivals built around costumes and hoaxes started as early as Ancient Rome. Each spring, the Romans would celebrate Hilaria, which is Latin for cheerful, merry, joyful, by donning disguises.

Some historians say that the celebration of April Fools Day itself started in France in the 1500s. You see, at this time, the French were transitioning away from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. One of the differences between these two calendars is what day each new year begins on. Since word didn’t travel as quickly then as it does now—no phone, Internet or social media will slow things down a lot—some people were left in the dark about the calendar change. These people became the butt of jokes, pranks and hoaxes as they continued to celebrate the new year the last week of March through April 1. 

Other historians have tied the concept of April Fools’ Day to the crazy shifts that so commonly occur in the weather at this time of year. Warm one day, freezing the next—sounds like mother nature is playing a joke on us!

Now April Fools’ Day has become a worldwide phenomenon with celebrities and corporations even taking part. I hope you’ll join in the fun this year. Just remember not to take anything too seriously.