This is not a joke post, this is another piece in my holiday’s series where I take a little bit deeper of a dive into what these holidays actually are and where they came from. Believe it or not this holiday does not have its origins (in the current iteration) in some ancient pagan ritual. Yes, there is an argument to be made that April 1st can be correlated to some ancient spring festivals and I wouldn’t disagree. April fool’s day though isn’t a spring ritual, it is mainly a bi product of a calendar switch.
It’s a brief that snapshots many time lines but the actual term “April fools” came about in the 1580’s when France moved to the Georgian calendar. Prior the “New year” was celebrated on April 1st, basically when spring began. The Georgian calendar pulls the “New Year” back to January 1st.
From the link: “People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.” These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poison d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.”
Back in the 1580’s news moved a little slower than it did today. So this is where we get the term “April Fool’s”. Obviously this has evolved over time and is now simply a jest. Playing jokes on people is an ancient custom, we can go back to ancient times and fine plenty of “humor” related festivals/celebrations. April Fools became a day of pranks centuries after the switch to the Georgian calendar, which most of us in the west are using. Like many customs it began as a joke for the rich to prank each other and the lower classes wanting to emulate adopted the practice.
It’s evolved to where we are today, a light hearted holiday that really has no universal celebration, parades etc. Many people have their own traditions and playing small jokes on people is common place. So today if someone tells you “April fools” and plays a joke on you take it in stride, get them back next year. Be thankful you weren’t around in 1580 and the calendar got changed and no one let you know about it…
I suppose back then it didn’t really matter what month or day it was did it? You were just trying to get through another day. Thanks for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.