While the exact origins remain a mystery, for many a century, 1st of April has been celebrated as April Fools day. Some believe it had its roots in the sixteenth century when, by order of the Council of Trent, France switched to the Gregorian calendar, which moved the beginning of the calendar year back to January 1st instead of the previous practice of beginning the new year just after the vernal equinox at the end of March. Those who failed to “get with the times” were labeled April Fools or, in this case, “poisson d’avril,” literally April Fish, insinuating they were gullible fish that were easily caught. Ah, those French are such pranksters. Regardless, it is a tradition that remains today in many a culture, generally celebrated with harmless pranks and jokes.
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