We all know about April Fool’s Day, but where did it come from? As you might expect from the holiday – no one’s really sure!
Ancient cultures would celebrate New Year’s Day, according to their calendar, on April 1st each year. It was close to the vernal equinox and during the Middle Ages, much of Europe would celebrate the Feast of Annunciation on March 25th, in honor of the new year that was approaching. In fact, France had a weeklong celebration in honor of the feast and ended on April 1st.
However, something interesting happened in 1582 when Pope Gregory XII ordered a new calendar to replace the old Julian Calendar. His new Gregorian Calendar moved the beginning of the year to January 1st instead of April 1st.
That same year, France adopted the new calendar and shifted their New Year’s Day.
According to popular history, many people either refused to recognize the calendar change or had not heard about the change and continued to celebrate New Years on April 1st. Others began to poke fun at these traditionalists by sending them on “fool’s errands” or trying to trick them into believing something else. It’s believed that the practice of pranks of April 1st began there and spread across Europe.
The story does leave some things unanswered though. For example, England didn’t officially adopt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752 but the April Fool’s Day traditions were already established by that point. The second point that casts doubt on this story is the fact that there is no material evidence for the story. The story wasn’t written down or recorded but instead passed down from generation to generation.
So, as you might expect for a holiday about pranking, the details are a little slippery.
Ideas for April Fool’s Day
Have a family member who loves food storage? Get them our new Saratoga Farms Dehydrated Water! By just adding a little water, it’s instantly returned to it’s original state. With an infinite shelf life and a refreshing taste, you and your family will love the Dehydrated Water.
Print out this word search puzzle and give it to your victims. It looks like a normal puzzle but none of the words are actually in the puzzle. Wait until the right moment and point out the words “April” and “Fools” on the search.
Find a small picture that you can hang. Take a nail and cut it in half with wire cutters. Now glue the picture to the nail and glue a magnet on the back. Stick the magnet to the refrigerator then start making a loud banging sound in the kitchen. When they come in, they’ll see you finishing up nailing a picture on the fridge.
Have any ideas? Comment below and help us come up with some good ideas.