Where Does April Fools’ Day Come From?

Probably one of the most hilarious days of the year, April Fools’ is the day anybody can do a prank without making the others mad. Nowadays, it is celebrated nearly everywhere around the globe and it seems to have been there since forever – but where did this yearly tradition actually begin?

Well, there seem to be as many theories as there are pranks, some of them dating back to the days of the Roman Empire.


One of the most common theories is related to the old and new calendars. In the Julian calendar, April 1st was the first day of the new year. Meanwhile, the Gregorian one (used today by most of the countries worldwide) set January 1st as the beginning of the year.

Back in 1582, France changed its calendar from Julian to Gregorian; however, some people forgot about the changes and celebrated New Year’s Eve when they shouldn’t have. Everybody laughed at them, as they were fooled by the calendar on every April 1st.

Another theory is related to the Roman Empire and the Hilaria festival, when people used to party and plan pranks to each other. Similarly, there was the Holi festival in India and, later on, the folks in the Middle Ages held the Feast of Fools.

Even though the jokes were more innocent back in the day, they just got bigger and funnier over time. One of the most popular April Fools’ pranks was made by BBC. In 1957, the team created a special reportage of some Swiss farmers supposedly harvesting spaghetti plants.