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The History of April Fools' Day

Some people love it and some people hate it, but do you know the history of April Fools’ Day? It’s true origin is actually a bit of a mystery! Some historians believe that April Fool’s Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar following the 1563 Council of Trent. After the switch, some people continued to celebrate the Julian calendar’s New Year, which took place on the Spring Equinox (which is often around April 1st) as opposed to Gregorian calendar’s New Year, which takes place on January 1st. These people were teased, pranked, and referred to as “April fools.” Other historians link April Fools’ Day to the Ancient Roman festival of Hilaria, which was celebrated at the end of March by the cult of Cybele and involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking citizens and even magistrates. Still others speculate that April Fools’ Day was originally tied to the Spring Equinox and the way that Mother Nature “fools” people with unpredictable weather in March and April. Today, the origins of April Fools’ Day remain a mystery, but many people still enjoy creating elaborate pranks and jokes on this unofficial holiday.

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