April Fools’ Day: a tradition created by fools?

April Fools’ Day is a tradition that comes with mixed reviews. While one group of people says April Fools’ is a tradition only fools would celebrate, the other embraces the tradition of pulling pranks on others. But the origins of this tradition are rarely known.

According to the Museum of Hoaxes, April Fools’ Day is one of the great debates among historians. The question of the origins of April Fools’ was not widely referenced in detail until the 18th century. But by this time the tradition had been well-established throughout northern Europe. Earlier references can be dated all the way back to as early as the 1500s but are infrequent and often ambiguous. Despite the unclear roots of how this custom came to be.

The most popular and widely accepted theory is that is 1500s Europe began reforming its calendar, moving the start of the year from March to Jan. 1. Individuals in France who choose to stick with the old calendar and continued to celebrate the new year during the week that fell between March 25 and April 1 had pranks played on them.

In today’s society we celebrate April Fools’ Day through pranks. Students from around the campus sounded of on what their all-time favorite April Fools’ prank was:

“The best prank I have ever heard of was a few years ago. In the Lower 48, an elderly man … lived near a inactive volcano, so on April 1 he throw a bunch of burning tires into the volcano” said natural science major Caitlin Alonzo, Natural Science.

“Last year I pulled a prank on one of my guy friends by telling him that I had a crush on him, when I didn’t… and his face shocked face was priceless!” said electrical engineering major Shaynese Deas.

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