April 1: All Fools’ Day

There are many traditions that we participate in because, well, they’re tradition. But where did some of these traditions come from? Let’s take April Fools ’ Day or All Fools’ Day. According to History.com, its exact origins remain a mystery:

  • Some think April Fools’ Day was popularized in 1700 by English pranksters playing practical jokes on each other.
  • Others speculate that the day dates back to 1582 when France switched to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar. People who were slow to adopt the new calendar failed to recognize that the start of the New Year moved to January 1. They continued to celebrate the last week of March and became the butt of all jokes.
  • Historians also associate April Fools’ Day with festivals like Hilaria, celebrated in Rome in the end of March and involved people dressing up in costumes.
  • Some say that April Fools’ Day has a connection with the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere when Mother Nature played jokes on people with her changing and unpredictable weather.

Whatever you want to believe, there is no question that in modern times, people have gone through great lengths to trick people. Even media outlets, universities, retail companies and restaurants have participated:

  • Bloomingdale’s announced a new “pup-up” spa for dogs called “bloomingtails.”
  • The University of Dundee announced a new master’s degree in Penguin Studies.
  • Even Siri got involved and had the perfect responses for people trying to mess with her.
  • McDonald’s announced the “Mmm Box.” A monthly subscription service that delivers a rib sandwich right to your door.

What are the best April Fools’ jokes you’ve played or have been done to you?


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