April Fools' Day 2017: A brief history of the event

Raymond Ronamai
April Fools' Day 2017: A brief history of the event

April Fools' Day 2017 falls on Saturday. All Fools' Day is celebrated by people cutting across regions and cultures.

Origin and evolution

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April Fools' Day has been celebrated by different cultures for centuries but there is no historical data about its origin. However, a research has revealed that the earliest account of the day dates back to 1392 when it was mentioned by father of English literature Geoffrey Chaucer in his book "Canterbury Tales".

The truth is, nobody knows how the day came about, but some historians are of the opinion that it was Pope Gregory XIII's handiwork. In 1582, he replaced Julian Calendar with Gregorian Calendar and pegged January 1 as New Year's day. However, some people were so used to celebrating new year in the last week of March through April 1, they continued the old tradition and became a butt of jokes.

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The Romans and early Hindus also celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1.

April Fools' Day spread far and wide over the centuries, and it has today evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. The kind of pranks people play on April Fools' Day may have changed with time but the essence remains the same; to have fun with near and dear ones with pranks and practical jokes.

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