Happy April Fools’ Day!

April Fools' Day is celebrated around the world - do you celebrate in your country?

The origins of this tradition are uncertain but there are a few theories.

Some suggest that it began in France in 1582.  This was when France moved from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.  Under the Julian calendar, the new year began on 1st April but under the Gregorian calendar, it moved to 1st January.  People who still celebrated on 1st April were called “poisson d’avril” and had a paper fish stuck to their backs!

gold and white wooden box with number 10

The idea of fish seems to be closely linked to April 1st, with people in Italy also sticking paper fish to their friends' backs and calling it "Pesce d’Aprile."  Some people believe that this all goes back to the Celts and the start of the fishing season, when fishermen would lie about how many fish they had caught!

gray fishes on ice

Another suggestion is that our modern April Fools' Day comes from the Roman festival of Hilaria, when people disguised themselves to make fun of other people.

Whatever the truth about the origins of the festival, people love playing tricks on their family and friends.  It's become so popular that even big companies and news outlets get involved, reporting on stories that we just wish were true, such as this from the BBC in 2008, about flying penguins!

Whatever you do for April Fools' Day, remember that in most countries, including the UK, the jokes have to stop by noon - otherwise, you are the fool!

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