April Fool’s Day

“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” — Mark Twain

The first of April is known as April Fool’s Day, a traditional day for practical jokes of all kinds. Some have noted connections between April Fool’s Day and the Roman celebration of Hilaria on March 25, and the Hindu holiday of Holi, ending March 31. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1894, refers to “the mockery trial of our Redeemer” as a popular explanation.

The most common explanation, however, is the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1584. In France, King Charles IX of France ruled that New Year’s Day be moved to January 1, but those who either hadn’t heard about the change or refused to accepted were known as “Poisson d’Avril” or “April Fish,” a reference to the astrological sign of Pisces, the fish.