Nobody is really certain when the first day of April became a day for play tricks on your friends, family and colleagues. However, here’s a few of our favourite theories, found around the web.
Change of Calendar
This is the one that most of us were told as children. That Pope Gregory XIII ordered a change of calendar in 1582, from the old Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar that we still use today. This shifted new year’s day from 1 April to 1 July. Because people in the 16th Century somehow survived without internet, phones, television, radio or newspapers, it took a bit of time for the word to spread, leaving some people looking foolish when they celebrated the new year three months late.
Persian New Year
As far back as 536 BC, tricks have been played on Sizdah Bedar, the thirteenth day of Persian New Year, which falls on 1 or 2 April. This is the oldest recorded tradition of trickery still alive today, which is why many people believe this is where our foolishness originated.
Coincidental Spring Fever
Many cultures, around the world, celebrate the joy of spring. This means that there is a whole lot of tradition around silliness at the end of Marsh in the Northern Hemisphere. From Ancient Roman Hilaria (25 March) to Hindu Holi (early to late-March) and Jewish Purim (early to late-March) – there are a lot of people celebrating the end of Winter. Perhaps, at some stage, the celebrations got a bit silly?
Whatever the origins, we love finding things to giggle at on 1 April each year.
Oh, and just in case you actually need it, here’s some advice on how to make toast.