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April Fools' Day: History and Significance of April 1

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

There are different origin stories associated with April Fools’ Day. Some historians suggest that it was first observed in 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to Gregorian calendar.

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Celebrated on April 1 every year, April Fools’ Day is when people are subjected to pranks

hoaxes and practical jokes. People usually yell ‘April Fool’ after pulling a prank on some

on this day.

History and Significance


There are different origin stories associated with April Fools’ Day. Some historians suggest that it was first observed in 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to Gregorian calendar.

The reason France adopted the Gregorian calendar was that Julian calendar did not us

reflect the actual time the Earth used to take to complete a revolution around the Sun.

In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year would commence with spring equinox around April 1.

Some people continued celebrating the new year in the end week of March or around April 1. They would become targets for jokes and hoaxes and were called “April Fools.”

April Fools’ Day got popularised in Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, it used to be celebrated for two days.

It took more than 300 years for the Gregorian Calendar to be fully accepted. Turkey was

last country to officially adopt the new calendar system on January 1, 1927.


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