The History of April Fools’ Day


Wikimedia Commons

This is an image of a little boy posing in front of a fake bus that crashed into the ground.

Kedric Delaney, Staff Writer

Annually on April 1, pranksters pull out their best tricks, yet many do not know how this tradition became a holiday. The most accurate answer is that nobody truly knows how this holiday came to be. According to some, April Fools’ originated from a legend or a myth, but there are many different speculations.

For example, the History website states, “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. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.” Another popular theory on how this strange holiday came to be is from the 19th century and is the idea that it follows it to the French expression poisson d’avril, which means “fish of April,” however metaphorically translates to April Fools’.

April Fools’ Day spread through Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the custom turned into a two-day experience, beginning with “chasing the gowk,” in which individuals were sent on fake tasks (gowk is another word for cuckoo bird, which symbolizes a fool). It is followed by Tailie Day, which included tricks played on individuals’ backsides, like sticking phony tails or “kick me” signs on them.

Some present-day pranks include individuals who have put it all on the line to make extreme April Fools’ Day pranks. Newspapers, radio stations, TV channels and sites have taken an interest in the April 1 trick of revealing false information that has misled their audiences many times.

All in all, April Fools’ Day is a holiday with many origins that many have grown to love and participate in every year. No one truly knows how the holiday started, but it has become a time to have fun while pranking friends and family. Happy April Fools’ Day eagles!