Origins Of April Fools Day

The history of April Fools Day and three explanantions of its origins including Gregorian Calendar Change and the Biblical origins of Jesus Christ Connection

April Fools Day is also called All Fools Day. It is celebrated on the 1 April each year and until noon people get to play tricks, practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. Others send people on silly errands such as going for a tin of tartan paint or trying to get people to believe in ridiculous things.

There are several theories on how it came to be celebrated:

Gregorian Calendar Change

In some ancient calendars, such as the Romans and Hindus, New Year Day was celebrated on 1 April, soon after the vernal equinox. In the UK it was celebrated on the 25 March up to medieval times. This was known as the Feast of Annunciation, which celebrates The Archangel Gabriel's revelation to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God.

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Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar in 1582 which came to be known as the Gregorian Calendar. It was to replace the old Julian Calendar so that New Year would be celebrated on 1 January.

France was the first Country to adopt the new Gregorian calendar on order of the French King Charles IX. Those who did not accept the calendar change or who still thought New Year started on the 1 April were known as April Fools. Such people were known as Poisson d'Avril which translates to April Fish.

Some think that it is traced back to the journey of Jesus Christ when he was sent to Annas then to Caiaphas, from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate before his crucifixion which is thought to have occurred on the 1 of April.

April Fools Day Scotland

In Scotland April Fools Day is known as Hunt The Gowk, which means looking for the cuckoo. People have until noon to tell lies to each other in the hope of catching someone out or playing tricks on each other. It was originally known as Huntigowk when the aim was to send someone on a foolish errand. April Fools were called April Gowks.

There was a wee poem that would be said:

Dinna laugh, an' dinna smile
But hunk the gowk another mile!

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