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April Fools’ Day is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, it is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good-humoured or otherwise funny jokes, hoaxes, and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.

We all have been using this day to tease and prank others ever since we were young but then again, do you know how did April Fool’s Day begin and how did it even get its name?
There are several theories on how April Fools’ Day originated, but the most likely is this.

The custom of playing tricks on friends on April 1st is believed to have originated in France in the middle 1500s. Before that time, one calendar was used throughout Europe. Under this calendar, each new year began on April 1st. On that day, people celebrated by exchanging gifts and visiting each other.

When France adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1564, King Charles IX decreed that New Year’s Day would henceforth be celebrated on January 1. Not everybody got the word, and even among those who knew of the changes, not everyone wanted to go along with it.

As a result, that year a number of people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1 as usual, throwing parties and exchanging gifts.

To make fun of the clueless and conservative, various wits marked the non-holiday by mocking those who still celebrated. They invited people to nonexistent events or gave them absurd presents, and anyone who fell for the joke was dubbed a Poisson d’Avril (“April fish”).

Even emperors were not immune to the April foolishness, centuries later, when Napoleon I got married on April 1, 1810, he was thereafter known as the “April Fish.”

Even after everybody got used to the new calendar, the April fooling continued every year on April 1. Over the centuries, the custom spread to England and to America. And finally internationally.

Last but not least, before I end this post, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy April Fool’s Day. And if you actually trust everything that is written above, well good for you.

For all you know, it’s the biggest April Fool joke of all time.

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