Did you get pranked on April Fools’ Day this year? If so, you were one of the many across the globe to participate in some April Fools’ shenanigans. But did you ever wonder where this jokester’s day began?
Some believe it was Pope Gregory XIII who played the first prank. In the 1500s, Pope Gregory XIII gave the world the new calendar, appropriately named the Gregorian Calendar. This new calendar changed the first day of the year from April 1 to January 1. Most heard about the change and transitioned their New Year’s celebrations, but the poor “fools” who didn’t get the news continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. So for years to come, they were the fools of the ultimate and original April Fools’ Day.
For more information on the global origins of the tradition, read the article by “The Museum of Hoaxes” on April Fools’ Day Origins.
Classroom Discussion Questions:
- How do different cultural groups and/or geographic regions celebrate April Fools?
- Which other holidays are celebrated throughout many nations of the world?
- Should holidays be celebrated in public schools? If so, which ones?