The History of April Fools Day:

Here are what folks say about the Origins of April Fools Day:

From Michael N.

It seems that it had no definite starting point, like Christmas or 4th of July. Rather, April Fools Day appears to have had a slow evolution toward modern day. It seems to be the result of the convergence of various cultural beliefs and practices which held a common theme, the emergence from the doldrums of winter.

The first of April is recognized as a day of pranks not only in the United States, but also in France, Germany, and Great Britain. In India, the feast of Huli occurs in March. The final day of Huli is March 31, and is traditionally celebrated by acts of mischief. In France, a fool is sometimes called a "poisson d'Avril" (April fish). In Scotland, a fool is called an "April gowk" or "April cuckoo".

From EK

The history that you have for April Fool's Day is not only wrong but embarassing. As an April First baby I have done research on the holiday. I suggest that you have your historian do the same.

From Craig M

On the way in to work this morning, they said on the radio that April Fools started back when they changed the calendar. They said at one point people used to celebrate the new year in April. When the new year was changed to January, they called the people who continued to celebrate the new year in April, April Fools. Don't know if it's true...just what I heard.

From Mohammed K

You have a page about April Fool's history, but you seem to be misinformed about it. April Fool's Day started when the Christian Army attacked the Muslims in Spain and suprised them. Next time do some research.

From Nilda C

April Fools is also celebrated in some Latin American countries, such as Peru and Colombia. It is celebrated on December 28, hence its name is not "April Fools" . It is called "Dia de los Inocentes" which in English it would be "The Candids' Day". The pranks are the same. Have a happy one.

Subject:      History of APRIL Fools day!..Hmmmm
From:         "Kevin M..." <...@...>
Date:         1997/04/01
Message-Id:   <MOD$>
Newsgroups:   soc.culture.singapore.moderated

The History of April Fools' Day

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days
of the year." --Mark Twain 

How do you think April Fools' Day originated? Did some joker in biblical
times decide to switch the frankincense and the myrrh? Was there a historic
epidemic of spring fever-tomfoolery in a tiny Finnish town in the early
1800s? Did a New Yorker in 1910 find a cockroach in his coffee cup and
decide to recreate the experience for his officemate, thereby sparking a
famous April 1 lawsuit? In a convincing testimonial to the saying that
truth is stranger than fiction, we'll tell you the story, or at least
present the most viable theory, of how April Fools' Day came to be. 

Once upon a time, back in 16th-century France, before computers, people
celebrated New Year's Day on March 25, the advent of spring. It was a
festive time. They partied steadily until April 1. 

In 1564, when the calendar reformed and became Gregorian, King Charles IX
proclaimed, perhaps pompously, that New Year's Day should be celebrated on
January 1 instead of in the spring. Diehard conservatives resisted the
change (or perhaps didn't hear about it due to the absence of e-mail) and
continued to celebrate New Year's from March 25 to April 1. During this
period of spring festivity, the more flexible French mocked the rigid
revelers by sending them foolish gifts and invitations to non-existent

The victim of an April Fools' Day prank was called a "poisson d'avril," or
an "April fish," because at that time of year, the sun was leaving the
zodiacal sign of Pisces. April Fools' Day hit its stride (avoiding the
banana peel) in England in the 18th century, and was brought to colonial
America by the English, Scottish, and French. No fooling.
Keep Smiling
Kevin P McCarthy
Net Academy Pte Ltd
"for users by users"

Subject:      April 1st?????
From:         "Jeoff F..., CRTT" <...@....COM>
Date:         1997/03/31
Message-Id:   <>

While out traveling around the web, I ran accross this, and found it

I am not promoting this site by any way shape or form... Just enjoy it and
have fun on the 1st, or is it the 1st????

April Fools Day: An Unsolved History

The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools' Day.
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
-- Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)

OK, who started it?
Did the first Fools come from France, England, Mexico, Sweden or India? The
truth, as in any good mystery, lies hidden in the shadows of time.

Some say that April Fools Day began in many parts of the world at the same
time, in celebration of the spring equinox. Pranks were a big part of even
the most boring equinox parties, everywhere from Sweden to India.

Others argue that the modern April Fool's Day followed the adoption of a
reformed calendar in France circa 1564. In medieval times, the octave of
New Year's began on March 25 with the eight days of festivities ending on
April 1.

With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, New Year's Day was moved
from April 1 to January 1. Due to the slowness of "sandal-net"
communication back then and general resistance to change, the January 1
date was not fully accepted for several years. Those traditionalists who
clung to April 1 as New Year's Day were scoffed at as "fools" and sent fake
party invitations and prank gifts.

Widespread observance in England began in the 18th century. The English,
Scotch and French introduced the custom to their colonies in America. One
of our forefathers' favorite jokes was to send someone on a "fool's
errand." For example, one might have been asked to go out and obtain a copy
of "The History of Adam's Grandfather," or bring back some "sweet vinegar."

In Scotland, April Fools Day is 48 hours long. The second day is called
Taily Day and is dedicated to pranks involving the buttocks. Taily Day's
gift to posterior posterity is the still-hilarious "Kick Me" sign.

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. Even the media join the fun,
often running bogus news stories and radio reports.

We may never learn the true origin of April Fools Day. However, the deeper
question facing us today is, "What's the best gag I can pull off?" has some intriguing suggestions.

Sources Include: The American Book of Days by Jane M. Hatch; The World
Holiday Book by Anneli Rufus; the Encyclopedia Americana.

Respiratiory Therpist
CRTT, PADI Divemaster
**** This is the real deal!!!  *****

From Larry F:

In the early Roman calendar, April 1 was the first day of spring, the spring equinox, and before 154 B.C.E it was New Years day. Many celebrations of many cultures observed this day as the coming of the renewal of the earth and life. There would be sacrifices and gifts given to the gods.

When the Christians came into power in the Roman empire, They created a celebration we call Easter that replaced the spring rituals. The old celebrations were ridiculed and made fun of. And people who observed these celebrations were persecuted. This was a chance to make fun of those who do not follow the orthodoxy (correct beliefs, i.e. your beliefs.) This is were we get April Fool's, where we can make anyone feel foolish.

Send a message about this page:

Subject: April Fools