10 Theories for the Origin of April Fool’s Day

10 Theories for the Origin of April Fool’s Day

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Parents Time Out - Duct Tape
Parents Time Out – Duct Tape

Nobody knows when April Fool’s day started. But, there are theories galore.

1. One theory is that April Fool’s Day was first celebrated soon after the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar. Those who didn’t make the adjustment were called an April Fool. Kind of like forgetting to change the clock for DST but on a grander scale I suppose.

2. Lots of cultures celebrate May Day. An April Fool was someone who celebrated the holiday early.

3. Some folk think the day has something to do with Noah who sent the raven off too early, on/around the first day of April.

4. Another explanation is an obique reference to April Fools’ Day in the Canterbury Tales (ca 1400) in the Nun’s Priest’s tale. It’s tale of two fools that took place on March 32nd.

5. Still another – during the reign of Constantine a group of court jesters and fools told the emperor they could do a better job of running the empire than he. Constantine appointed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. On the day Kugel was king he passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day and the custom stuck and is celebrated annually.

6. Many different cultures have days of foolishness around the start of April. The Romans have a festival named Hilaria on March 25s. The Hindu calendar has Holi, and the Jewish calendar has Purim.

7. A 1508 poem written by a French choirmaster, Eloy d’Amerval. The poem includes the line, “maquereau infâme de maint homme et de mainte femme, Poisson d’avril.“ The phrase “Poisson d’avril” (April Fish) is the French term for an April Fool.

8. A Flemish writer, Eduard De Dene, published a comical poem in 1539. The poem is “about a nobleman who hatches a plan to send his servant back and forth on absurd errands on April 1st, supposedly to help prepare for a wedding feast.”

9. The April 2, 1698 edition of Dawks’s News-Letter reported that “Yesterday being the first of April, several persons were sent to the Tower Ditch to see the Lions washed.”

10. If calculations are done, it seems the Satan lied to Eve on the first day of April in the Garden of Eve.*

source, source, source

*And if you believe that last one…

You might also be interested in:

Top 10 April Fool’s jokes you might hear in church

The greatest April Fool’s Joke of all time with a very unhappy ending

Top 100 April Fool’s Jokes of all time

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

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