April Fool’s Day Origin Stories – Fact or Fiction

April Fool's Day

For years people have celebrated April first as April Fool’s day. This day consists of jokes and pranks. Commonly people recommend staying away from social media and news sites as you never know who might decide to share fake news. Still, many people do not know the origin story or possible stories behind this auspicious day.

Constantine and the Fool

In 1983, a Boston professor shared the origins of April Fool’s Day with the newspaper, Associated Press. During the reign of Constantine, court fools told him that they could run the empire better. Instead of getting mad, Constantine laughed about it and allowed one of the fools to be emperor for the day. The fool emperor passed a rule for the day to consist of absurdity. They had so much fun that this became an annual event that evolved into April Fool’s Day. Sounds like a fun beginning to such a silly day.

Sadly, the professor pulled this elaborate story as a prank on the newspaper. They fell for it and printed it as the origin of the day. Eventually, they figured out that the professor had pulled the prank on them. Though some people may still use this story as the origin of the silly day even though the professor has admitted to making up the whole thing.


Some people say the origin of this day goes back to Ancient Rome. During this time, around the end of March people would celebrate an event called Hilaria. They would dress up and mock each other. Though no one dresses up, still the pranks could be a form of mocking each other. Though in my opinion, this sounds a lot like Halloween.

New Year’s Day

A long time ago, people celebrated the New Year in the spring. Then countries adopted the Gregorian calendar which put the new year on January first. According to some, in France, the first year of this change people forgot the change to the new year and still celebrated on April first. People made fun of them, calling them fools, creating April Fool’s day. While I believe people mixed up the new year date after the calendar change, I doubt that it created a holiday that has lasted centuries.

Basically, the origin of April Fool’s Day is shrouded in mystery. No one really knows how it started. Still, we can guess why it continues year after year. People love to laugh and have fun. This is one day where it is encouraged. Stay vigilant or you may end up the fool.

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