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A Brief History of April Fool’s Day


Every year, one day sparks mischief (and sometimes fear) in people. That day is April Fool’s Day. It’s a fairly ridiculous holiday celebrated worldwide – but how did it start? Who invented April Fool’s Day? Well, there’s some speculation on that:


In 1582, France switched the from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

With the Julian calendar, the new year was celebrated on April 1st. With the Gregorian calendar, that is obviously not the case.

Those who forgot the change and attempted to celebrate the new year on April 1st were the butt of every joke.

Some of the pranks played involved putting fish on people’s backs and calling them “poisson d’avirl” (April fish). This was to poke fun of the gullible person.

Some historians have other ideas, too. April Fool’s Day could have originated from the Roman festival, Hilaria. Others think it had something to do with the Vernal Equinox.

Either way, April Fool’s is still celebrated to this day – with all kinds of pranks.



Julia Hansen is a senior at Simmons studying PR/Marketing Communications and English with minors in cinema, media arts, and graphic design. When not writing for Her Campus, she can be found reading every book she can find, retweeting photos of dogs and binge-watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Find her on IG @juliarosehansen
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