April Fools’ Day 2020: History and Origin

April Fools’ Day is celebrated as Fools’ Day on 1 April around the world. On this day, people are involved in bizarre, laughable, silly acts and deception from friends, neighbours and even members of their household. Do you know the history and origin of April Fool’s Day? Let us have a look!
Created On: Apr 1, 2020 10:11 IST
Modified On: Apr 1, 2020 04:41 IST
April Fool's Day
April Fool's Day

April Fools’ Day is one of the most light-hearted days of the year and is celebrated by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools.

It is celebrated since centuries but its origins are uncertain. According to some historians, it was first celebrated in 1852, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar and some say that it is related to the turn of the seasons.

According to the most prevalent concept, the Romans in ancient times started celebrating the new year in April, while in medieval Europe, on 25 March, New Year is celebrated as a festival, but in 1852 Pope Gregory VIII established the Gregorian calendar (present Valid calendar), based on which the new year was started from January.

This calendar was first accepted by France, but according to Janushruti, several people in Europe did not accept this calendar and were not aware of it. Due to this the people celebrating new year based on the new calendar considered people fool who celebrate the new year in April in the old way and since then the trend of April Fool or Fool's Day has increased.

Folktales associated with April Fool's Day

1. A long time ago there was a funny king named "Moxer" in Greece. One day he dreamed that an ant had swallowed him alive. When his sleep broke in the morning, he started laughing loudly remembering his dream. When his wife asked him the reason for laughing, he said that "At night I saw in my dream that an ant has swallowed me alive." Hearing this, the queen also started laughing. Then astrologer told the king that this dream means "you should live with the day laughing and joking" and it is the first day of April. So from that day on 1st April, every year was celebrated as a day full of laughter.

2. According to another folk tale, an Apsara befriended the farmer and said, "If you drink a pot of water in one breath, I will give you a boon". The toiling farmer immediately picked up a pot full of water and drank it in one breath and asked Apsara for a boon, she said: "You are very innocent, from today I give you a boon that you will make  people laugh with your clever words." Then from that time farmer started making people laugh and due to this, a festival of laughter was born which we call as Fool's Day.

3. Once upon a time, there was a King in Spain named "Mounto Ber". One day he announced a contest in which he told people that who will write the truest lies would be rewarded. On the day of the contest, thousands of letters of "true lies" came to the king, but the king was not satisfied with letters. In the end, a girl came and said, "Maharaja, I am dumb and blind." Hearing this, the king was confused and asked: "What proof do you have that you are really blind". Then the girl said, "You can see the tree which has been planted in front of the palace, but I can’t." The king laughed a lot on this. He gave the girl the prize of the false joke and announced among the people that now we will celebrate Fool's Day on 1st April every year. Since then this tradition was started.

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4. Four friends lived in the city of Athens in BC. One of them considered himself very intelligent and he enjoys while degrading others. Therefore, the other three friends got together and thought of a trick and told him that last night a unique dream appeared. In the dream, we saw a goddess standing in front of us, saying that a divine light will appear on the top of the hill tomorrow night and will give the desired blessing, so you must come there with all your friends.

The friend, who considers himself intelligent, believed his other friends' dream. At a certain time, he reached the top of the mountain, along with some other people to see the divine light and other friends hide themselves to see his intelligent friend foolishness. Slowly-slowly the crowd started to grow and the moon and stars also started shining in the sky, but there was no sight of the divine light nor did they show any names. The day was 1 April, and from that day onwards, the practice of fooling started every year in Athens. Later gradually other countries also adopted it and started fooling their acquaintances on 1 April. This is how Fool's Day was born.

Events on the occasion of April Fools’ Day

1. In France, on the occasion of "April Fools’ Day," there is an exciting program of fools, poets and satirists. This program runs continuously for 7 days. The youth participating in this fun event is required to wear a girl's dress and a person who is being fooled is rewarded.

2. In China and France, there is a tradition of sending colourful parcels and distributing sweets on the occasion of "April Fools’ Day". Children laugh a lot on this day. People wear masks of wild animals and intimidate visitors.

3. The event, held on the occasion of "April Fools’ Day" in Rome, lasts for 7 days and is fooled by sending a colour parcel like China.

4. On "April Fools’ Day" in Japan, children fly a kite by writing a proclamation and the person seeking a kite becomes an "April Fool".

5. In England, on the occasion of "April Fools’ Day," various entertaining and interesting programs are held. In this program, people are fooled by singing silly songs.

6. In Scotland, "April Fools’ Day" is known as "Hunting the Cool". On this day, "Cock stealing" is a special tradition here. The chicken owner also does not mind it. Apart from this, people fool each other by finding new ways.

This story is just an English translation of this storyAll credit goes to the author who wrote it in Hindi.

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