April Fools!

april1Yesterday was April Fools Day, a date that is a famous first!  Mother Nature sure pulled a good prank yesterday with cold and snow across a large portion of the U.S. but do you know how the tradition of pranks of April 1st got started?

If your answer is no, you’re in good company – nobody really knows where the tradition came from.  Here are a few of the theories:

  • A switch from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th century changed the first day of the year from April 1 to January 1.  So people that missed the change were “fooled” and the pranks grew out of that.
  • Another possibility is that it grew out of the Greco-Roman festival of Hilaria which was celebrated following the spring equinox and featured masquerades and pranks.
  • Some even say April Fools has a Biblical origin – in a 1769 edition of The London Public Advertiser, the following explanation for April Fools was printed:
    • The mistake of Noah sending the dove out of the ark before the water had abated, on the first day of April, and to perpetuate the memory of this deliverance it was thought proper, whoever forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by sending them upon some sleeveless errand similar to that ineffectual message upon which the bird was sent by the patriarch.

No matter how it started, there have been some epic pranks pulled in the name of April Fools Day – click here to see a list of some of the most famous.  What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled or had had pulled on you?  Let me know in the comments!