The origins of April Fools’ Day remain uncertain. Some believe the tradition began with ancient Romans and Hindus who celebrated New Years on April 1st. Others speculate some people did not adapt when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the Gregorian calendar to replace the Julian calendar, shifting New Years from April 1st to January 1st. These people continued their New Year’s celebrations in April and were believed to made fun of and sent on fool’s errands.

While Americans tend to play pranks on coworkers and siblings on April Fools’ Day, French children observe April 1st as Poisson d’Avril, “April Fish.” A typical prank in France involves children taping pictures of fish to classmates’ backs and calling them Poisson d’Avril when they discover the photo.

What will you be doing this April Fool’s Day?


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