April Fools’ Day: Why is it observed on first day of April?
April 1 is observed as the April Fool's Day or All Fools' Day the world over. It's the day when people crack harmless jokes and foolish funs on their friends and near and dear ones. One of the earliest instances of April Fool's Day is found in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.
But when did this day originate? The exact reports about its origin are not known. While some see it as a celebration more related to the change of seasons, others thought it originated with the adoption of a new calendar.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII asked for a new calendar and the Gregorian Calendar came into being to replace the Julian Calendar. The new calendar announced that the beginning of the year would be marked on January 1 but many people refused to recognise it or did not know about it and continued to celebrate the New Year's Day on April 1. This earned them mockery and people tricked the traditionalists about believing something false. This practice slowly spread throughout Europe.
This explanation, however, had its flaws. The new calendar was not adopted by the English till 1752 and April Fool's Day was also a well-established tradition there by then. Some say this explanation was based more guesswork.
Another explanation on how April Fools' Day originated was given by Professor Joseph Boskin of Boston University. He said that during the reign of Roman emperor Constantine, a group of court jesters told the emperor that they could run the empire better. The king then called a jester Kugel to lead the empire for a day and the latter called for absurdity on that day, making the funny event a tradition.
Another explanation of the origins of April Fools' Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire.
Constantine allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event. However, later reports claimed that Boskin had made up the explanation and it was an April Fools' joke itself.