April Fools’ Day

Click to enlarge. Infographic made by Bernice Chen in Piktochart
Click to enlarge. Infographic made by Bernice Chen in Piktochart

April Fools’ Day, also known as All Fools’ Day, is a time for mischief and happiness, celebrated in most countries on April 1st. Pranks are pulled around the world, and people have a great time playing tricks on each other.

No one is completely certain about how April Fools’ Day began. According to Discovery News and Britannica School, one of the most famous theories is that in 1852, Pope Gregory XIII decreed a new calendar, known as the Gregorian Calendar. Before the Gregorian Calendar, Europe used the Julian Calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, where a new year started on April 1. The Gregorian Calendar changed the start of a new year to January 1. However some Europeans continued to celebrate the new year on April 1, and this day became known as April Fools’.

Today, people in France that are fooled on April 1st are called Poisson d’Avril, which translates to “April fish.” This is a common prank where you hook a cardboard fish on a person’s back. Some people think that the fish is tied to Jesus Christ, who was often represented as a one in early Christian times. Others think that the fish has to do with the zodiac sign Pisces, which is represented by a fish and falls near April.

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on the same day as two other holidays: Hilaria, also known as Roman Laughing Day, and Holi. In ancient Rome, a festival of Hilaria is held to celebrate the resurrection of the god Attis, the Roman god of vegetation. In India, the holiday Holi celebrates the arrival of Spring. In a Holi festival, people play pranks and smear colored powder on each other. All three of the holidays, no matter what the tradition and name, are times of fun and happiness.

All Fool’s Day, or April Fool’s Day, is a holiday for people to take advantage of pranks and games. “I think April Fool’s Day is a time for us to connect with our friends in new and cool ways.” says Nima Ashtari, a 7th grader. “Playing tricks on people can be just the thing that makes a new friend for life.” Have fun on April 1st, and avoid becoming an April Fish!