Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

What are the origins of April Fools' Day ?

Posted on Wednesday, 1 April, 2020 | Comment icon 4 comments

Why do we prank people on April Fools' Day ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 J.B. / naturegirl 78
We celebrate it each year by pulling pranks on one another, but nobody is quite sure how it all started.
From the BBC's infamous 'Swiss Spaghetti Harvest' Panorama news report to Netflix's public service announcements warning its users about the dangers of binge-watching, April Fools' Day shenanigans have long been a staple of April 1st across the world.

With the usual japery put on hold this year due to the coronavirus pandemic however, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at just where this bizarre tradition actually came from.

As it turns out, nobody seems to be able to agree on precisely when and where it originated.

One common theory is that it came from The Nun's Priest's Tale - one of the stories in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales which were written between 1387 and 1400.
In it, one of the characters - Chauntecleer - is tricked by a fox on "Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two", which some believe to be a reference to April 1st.

Not all experts agree on this however, with some interpreting this to mean May 2nd instead.

In France, the first known mention of April Fools' Day was thought to be in 1508 by French poet Eloy d'Amerval who referenced "poisson d'avril", which translates to "fish of April".

Others believe that the day originated in the Middle Ages when New Year's Day was sometimes celebrated between March 25th and the beginning of April. It is thought that people who celebrated New Year on January 1st were mocked for it, thus the idea of April Fools' Day was born.

As things stand however, nobody is quite sure which of these theories (if any) is correct.

Source: | Comments (4)

Tags: April

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Desertrat56 on 1 April, 2020, 15:36
I had a neighbor who listened to a radio station all day long every day, and she stayed home so never remembered what day it was.  3 years in a row she called me on April 1st to tell me something so funny, and she thought it was real, because the radio station always had April fools news story, telling it as if it were real.  She would be upset and I would ask her if she knew what day it was and she would say Tuesday and I would say what is the date, then hang upon her.  One I remember was a story that the Cochiti Pueblo was going to block the Rio Grande off and keep people down river from get... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Seti42 on 1 April, 2020, 17:56
"Now who's laughing! Now who's laughing!"  
Comment icon #3 Posted by and then on 1 April, 2020, 18:03
THIS was the best April Fools gimmick I ever saw.  I took it hook, line and sinker...  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Calibeliever on 2 April, 2020, 20:35
I heard (many years ago now) that when people switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian one, those who didn't recognize (or know) that the new year was January first were celebrating it in late March or early April and got labeled as 'fools'. -shrug- ?

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


NASA: first woman to walk on the Moon by 2024
The space agency has officially published its $28bn plan to land humans on the lunar surface within four years.
'Tesla was from Venus' claims FBI document
A rather peculiar claim concerning Nikola Tesla has been found in the archives of the FBI's official website.
117-year-old becomes third-oldest person ever
Kane Tanaka - the oldest person in Japan - has reached a grand old age despite a penchant for fizzy drinks.
Pentagon has a zombie outbreak defense plan
It turns out that there is a genuine plan in place to defend the United States in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
Stories & Experiences
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas
Orb of light in room
5-9-2020 | USA/Texas/Waco
Not sleeping alone
5-9-2020 | Los Angeles

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ