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April Fools’ Day: History and origin of most fun festival of the year

Perhaps, the reason is the onset of the Spring after the deadly winter that makes people lighthearted and joyful or perhaps it is the shift from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in the middle ages.

Shreya Thapliyal | New Delhi |

April Fools’ Day: Every year, on April 1, people around the globe plot schemes to prank their loved ones. It could range from playing harmless jokes to planning elaborate schemes to fool anyone. One of the most lighthearted days of the year, April 1 is celebrated as April Fools’ Day around the globe. One of the few non-religious festivals of the world, April Fools’ Day is also known as All Fools’ Day and has been celebrated through centuries.

Unknown origins

Numerous tales of pranks have been recorded through time but the origins of the festival are shrouded in mystery. There is no clear information about the origin of the festival, nor any description of how the festival gained such cultural significance.

France

According to some historians, when France switched to Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar, they started celebrating the New Year on January 1. However, the news took some time to travel to faraway places and people were still celebrating the start of New Year through March end.

These people were ridiculed and became the reason for jokes. In France, Italy and Belgium, the tradition is now known as “April Fish” and people try to pate fishes on the back of their victims, symbolizing a gullible person.

Ancient Rome

Many cultures like the Ancient Rome and Hinduism celebrated the beginning of a New Year during March end and celebrate the onset of Spring. To celebrate the ending of the previous year and beginning of a new year, during March end, people in ancient Rome, wore disguises to celebrate Hilaria. A number of people have attributed this to the history behind the April Fools’ Day.

There is no clear cut reason explained for celebrating the April Fools’ Day. Perhaps, it is the onset of the Spring after the deadly winter that makes people lighthearted and joyful or perhaps it is the shift from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in the middle ages.

The reasons may vary, maybe we will never find the real origin reason for the festival. However, it is not necessary. We do not need any definite origin story to pull a harmless prank on our loved ones. Do we?