April Fools' Fun: Where’d it Come From?

Becky Corrigan

No one knows for sure where the idea for April Fools’ Day came from. Could be from the Ancient Persians?  SInce the year 536 BC, the end of Persian New Year celebration, Sizdah Bedar, is celebrated with outdoor fun, picnics, and pranks!  Ancient Rome also celebrated a day of merriment and rejoicing this time of year -- the Festival of Hilaria, also called Roman Laughing Day!

The first April Fools could have first been declared in France, back in the 1500s, when Pope Gregory called for a new calendar (the Gregorian, of course) and moved New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st.  Folks that either didn’t want to change their party plans or didn’t get the message were called “April Fools.”

In today’s world, the French still celebrate April Fools’ with an unusual twist -- putting a paper fish on someone’s back and calling out “Poisson “d’Avril!” (April Fish!)  Why? ‘Cause it’s just as easy to catch a foolish person as it is to catch a foolish fish!  

Add a comment