April Fools’ Day is one of those holidays that usually get a very debatable reception.
Some call this holiday light-hearted, whereas the others find it rather pointless. The history of April Fools’ Day is obscure, as well as argued. The debate is centered around a few main theories, each of which has both strong and weak points.
The year1582 was remarkable for France because the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian one. Due to this change, all dates shifted, and every new year started on January 1 instead of March 25. The majority accepted the reform and moved on. However, there were also those who decided to stick to the old traditions and celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1. Those people later became the figures of fun and were subjected to different pranks on April 1. And the tradition spread.
This theory is quite weak when you discover that the calendar changes occurred in some countries a lot later while April Fools’ Day there had already been a thing.
In 1983 Professor Joseph Boskin published an article describing the origin of April Fools’ Day. According to it, the tradition came to life in the Roman Empire when the emperor allowed a local fool to be a ruler for one day. However, the fool was a smart one since he wanted to put everything into perspective, and the custom became a beloved tradition.
The Associated Press spread the article in various newspapers. Only later did they found out that they became a victim of an April 1 joke – the story was completely made up.
April is a jolly month. The weather gets warmer, first flowers appear here and there, and everyone is excited at approaching spring. Logically, many cultures adopted a tradition to celebrate this cheerful date. It all started with the Romans and their Hilaria festival. Later, it spread to other countries of the Western world, and traditionally, April became the month of joy, lightheartedness. and occasional foolishness.
With time, the tradition to play pranks on friends has developed further. Many newspapers, TV channels and web sites in the Western countries have been reporting fake stories or been publishing ridiculous things. We believe it’s a nice way to cheer everyone up in our harsh reality.