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CE Today: April 1 — Where did April Fools’ Day come from?

April Fools’ Day is loved by some and hated by others. It is a day for jokes, pranks, and hoaxes. But how did it get started?

feature_group_kids_happyThe most common theory says a calendar change in the 1500s moved the date of the new year from April 1 to January 1. The “April fools” who did not adjust to the new calendar were pranked and teased, leading to the modern tradition.

April Fools’ Day could also have evolved from older spring festivals full of laughter and practical jokes, like Hilaria, an Ancient Roman festival. What pranks have you pulled today?

An April Fools’ Day Bonus

This trick will please Google Maps users and Pac-Man enthusiasts alike. Google has a new, secret feature that allows users to play Pac-Man using the streets as a maze. It was enabled just in time for April Fools’ Day, but this Google support page says it will not be around for long.

Sources

Discovery: “Where Does April Fools’ Day Originate?”
Encyclopedia Britannica: Hilaria