History of April Fool’s Day

April snowfall covers spring flowers. (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

I always breathe a sigh of relief when I’m able to pass April Fool’s Day relatively unscathed. As my children become more wily, the antics become more alarming. It’s to the point now where I’ve had to ask that we no longer include death or destruction as part of a prank. I’m not sure my heart can take the stress of it all.

For me, April’s Fool’s Day hangs out on the bottom rung, along with New Year’s Eve, as my least favorite celebrations. One holiday has my family and friends preying on my worst fears, while the other holiday has me on a quest for something bigger and better. Both days are exhausting.

I’ve never bothered to find out the origin of April Fool’s Day. This year I finally decided I had to figure out who in the history decided to start pranking people. (“Why I oughta.”) According to History.com and Britannica.com, there is no specific person to blame for April 1 becoming associated with Fool’s Day. There is speculation that in the 1500s, when the French switched to the Georgian calendar and a January New Year, they ridiculed those “other” people celebrating the new year on Easter. There is also a theory that April Fool’s Day is tied to the first day of spring and the vernal equinox. Essentially it’s Mother Nature being so Adirondack and fooling people into thinking it’s true spring. As the latest April snowfall showed us, spring is a small window nestled between the second or third winter and black fly season. I’m not bitter. I like the change in seasons. I celebrate the numerous seasonal changes where the rest of the world only a few. I see those four seasons and raise ’em five.

Because my phone has a better memory, I’ve finally set a reminder so I will get a text telling my future self to disregard all family messages on April 1. I’m not sure it will help. They may take it as a challenge.

I hope you are all enjoying the latest snow. No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. So far, my family can’t control the weather, though they are working on it.


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