“April Fool’s Day!”: Where does April Fool’s Day come from?

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“April Fool’s Day!”: Anyone who hears this on April 1 has likely fallen for an April Fool joke. But why do people make April Fools jokes?

Even in 2023, April 1 is a day of celebration for all pranksters: today, they fool their fellow human beings with an April Fool joke. But where does the April Fool’s joke originate?

The answer is short: we don’t know for sure. But there are four possible explanations – and we present them here.

April 1: Why do people make April Fools jokes?
One explanation refers to calendar reform in 1564, when the French king Charles IX moved New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1. Pranksters are said to have sent out invitations for New Year’s celebrations on April 1, which no longer existed. Those who came anyway were ridiculed. Soldiers are said to have distributed such April Fool’s jokes all over Europe.

A further explanation comes likewise from France. Henry IV is said to have received an invitation to a meeting from a girl from the common people on April 1 in the 17th century. The king is said to have accepted the invitation and travelled to a remote pleasure palace. However, no future mistress was waiting there – but his court, including Henry’s wife.

April 1, 2023: Does April Fool’s joke come from the angel Lucifer?
The following explanation comes from Christianity: The fallen angel Lucifer is said to have entered hell on April 1. So, for Christians, this day means bad luck to beware of.

Finally, there is the following explanation: There is supposed to be a connection to a Roman festival in honour of the god Quirinus. The so-called Quirinalia was called the festival of fools and fools. However, in the Roman calendar, it fell on February 17 – later calendar reforms could have caused the festival to be shifted to April 1.

  • source: augsburger-allgemeine.de/picture: hp/pixabay.com
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