Why Does Such A Thing Called An April Fools’ Day Exist

Recall the time when your teacher taught you about different kinds of festivals and important days that we celebrated in the country? The first category was of Cultural Festivals including the likes of Holi, Diwali, Christmas, Eid and the second was the National Festivals which included Independence Day, Republic Day, and Gandhi Jayanti among others.  […]

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April 1, 2021

Lifestyle

4 min

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Recall the time when your teacher taught you about different kinds of festivals and important days that we celebrated in the country?

The first category was of Cultural Festivals including the likes of Holi, Diwali, Christmas, Eid and the second was the National Festivals which included Independence Day, Republic Day, and Gandhi Jayanti among others. 

However, there was another category which we were not taught in school but all of us knew about them. One such was April Fools’ Day. 

Have you ever wondered why we all came together and agreed upon 1st April being known as a Fools’ Day? What could have been the reason that there exists a thing called an April’s fool day?

To our surprise, there is a sincere history behind this ridiculous day and historians have created possible theories of why such a day exists today.

The Theory Of Poisson D’avril

According to some historians, April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582. The year France switched to the Gregorian Calendar from the Julian Calendar, as called for by the Council Of Trent in 1563.

Poisson D’avril
Poisson D’avril

Just like in the Hindu Calendar, in the Julian Calendar too, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1. 

People who were slow to realize or refused to accept the change in the date of the new year to January 1 continued celebrating their new year on April 1 and became the butt of jokes and hoaxes by the other people. 

A popular prank was to place a paper fish on the back of people celebrating the new year in April and they were referred to as “poisson d’avril” or April fish, which symbolized a young, easily caught fish or a gullible person.

Putting A Paper Fish On The Back Of People Celebrating New Year On April 1
Putting A Paper Fish On The Back Of People Celebrating New Year On April 1 Was A Popular Prank

The Theory Of Hilaria 

Accordingly, some historians have linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria which means joyful in Latin.

Hilaria Celebrated In Ancient Rome
Hilaria Celebrated In Ancient Rome

Hilaria was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele. People would dress up in disguises and mock fellow citizens, even magistrates. 

It was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris, and Seth.

Hilaria Was Inspired By The Egyptian Legend Of Isis, Osiris, and Seth
Hilaria Was Inspired By The Egyptian Legend Of Isis, Osiris, and Seth

The Theory Of Vernal Equinox

Another theory was the one linked with Mother Nature. 

It was believed that April Fools’ Day was tied up to the first day of spring or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

Vernal Equinox Or The First Day Of Spring
Vernal Equinox Or The First Day Of Spring

Today, people celebrate April 1 as April Fools’ Day because it is probably the only day they can get away with anything with anyone. 

What is your all-time favorite prank to pull on your friends and family? Let us know in the comment section. 

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