Originally posted on hungarywolf:
The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools’ Day;
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
Poor Robin’s Almanack, 1760
All Fools’ or April Fools’ Day celebrates its 450th Anniversary this year, since it began in France in 1564. The name, given to the first of April, refers to the custom of playing tricks on other people or sending them off on ‘fools’ errands’. It appears to owe its origins to the ‘vernal equinox’ or beginning of Spring, since April 1st used to be New Year’s Day until 1564 in France. Then King Charles IX decided to change this to 1 January. However, the change in the calendar wasn’t followed until the seventeenth century in Britain, and there used to be some confusion among historians about events that happened before it was adopted, like the execution…
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