Teachers' blog


【The History of April Fool’s Day】

(Contributed by Mike)
How was your April Fool’s Day? Were you fooled by any fun pranks? Did you play any pranks of your own? For me, it was a day of not believing anything and enjoying the creative ideas that companies around the world enacted to celebrate this most whimsical of days.
But the historian in me got to thinking: Where did April Fool’s Day come from? Why is it celebrated around the world? Why is it celebrated at all?
It turns out that no one really has a definitive answer. Some believe that the custom started by mistake; when making copies of Chaucer’s medieval book Canterbury Tales, an error was made where 32 days after March was mistaken as the 32nd day of March (in other words, April 1st). The story featured a chicken who is tricked by a fox!
Canterbury Tales was written in 1392, but another popular theory (now somewhat debunked by historians) explains that April Fools Day started when in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII declared that New Year’s Day would be moved from April 1st to January 1st. Anyone who still celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1st was considered a fool.
We may never know what the true origin of April Fool’s Day is. But what does seem clear is that it has been celebrated for a long time. There’s plenty of evidence of people from different countries celebrating this day in one form or another over the last 500 years!

Copyright © 2014 NTT Learning Systems Corporation. All Rights Reserved.