Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The History Behind April Fool's Day

Blogger: Amber Schamel
Public Domain
Yesterday was April Fools day. I’m sure some of you are very aware of that fact. LOL. But why are pranks so common on April Fools day, and where did this strange tradition come from?

Good question. Let’s explore.

In all honesty, no one really knows for sure because April Fool’s day (sometimes called All Fools day) has been around for centuries and in many different cultures. Some of the traditions date back to ancient times. Ancient Rome for example, had many traditions that resemble April Fool’s day during their Hilaria (end of winter) festival, such as pranking people by dressing up in disguises.

One of the most common speculations is that April Fool’s day originated when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The poor folks who forgot, or just flat out missed the memo, continued to celebrate the dawn of the New Year at the end of March, beginning of April, instead of January 1st. These people became the subject of jokes and ridicule, such as having paper fish taped to their backs to insinuate their gullibility and foolishness.

April Fool Disguise
Public Domain

Another theory is that the day originated from the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring, during which time Mother Nature would fool people by the drastic weather changes and variations.

During the 18th century is when the day gained popularity throughout Britain. Scotland for example would commemorate the occasion with two days. Kicking it off with “hunting of the gowk” where people were sent on phony errands and followed by Tallie Day. Tallie day was marked by playing pranks, such as pinning a “kick me” sign to someone’s back. 

April Fool Pranks take all forms.

Whatever the origin of the day, it has long been a time to absolutely ‘fool’ people into believing something that isn’t true. Which is why I’m posting this on April 2nd. Because it is true. Or is it? šŸ˜‰


Two-time winner of the Christian Indie Award for historical fiction, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest".  She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Amber is a proud member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/ and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!


  1. Haha! It's not one of my favorite days, because I'm SO gullible. I did make it through yesterday with no pranks played. Thank goodness!

  2. Always so interesting to find out how different traditions, phrases, old wives tales and holidays originated from. Thank you Amber for the post!