ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – On 1st April every year, people around the world celebrate April Fools’ Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, a day when we are allowed to make people ‘fools’ with practical jokes played upon them.
The tradition has been observed for many centuries, possibly going back nearly two millennia, but there is little agreement as to its true origins. Popular explanations include the Biblical theory that April Fools’ Day is linked to the day Jesus was sent from Pontius Pilate to Herod and back again.
This journey was associated with the old expression of ‘sending someone on a fool’s errand’. However, others believe it has Roman origins. Romans and Celts are said to have celebrated a festival of practical jokes at the end of March, close to the time of the vernal equinox, which may have changed date when the calendar shifted to the Gregorian calendar. Despite its murky origins, April Fools’ Day has continued to be celebrated throughout many countries around the world.