The History of April Fool’s Day | PostIndependent.com

The History of April Fool’s Day

Although April Fools’ Day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery.

According to the History Channel, some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to Jan. 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1, becoming the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish); said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

In modern times, newspapers, websites, radio and TV stations participate in the April 1st tradition by reporting outrageous fictional claims in hopes to fool their audiences.


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