April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day is a day celebrated in many countries on April 1 all though it should be mentioned that it is not a real holiday. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, enemies, and neighbors, or sending them on a fool's errand, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. Traditionally, in some countries, the jokes only last until noon: like UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool". Elsewhere, such as in Ireland, France, and the USA, the jokes last all day. Even though this not a real holiday I was wondering why so many people celebrate it and how this tradition became so popular.
The history of April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day is uncertain, but the current thinking is that it began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under Charles IX. The Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved from March 25 - April 1 (new year's week) to January 1. Communication traveled slowly in those days and some people were only informed of the change several years later. Still others, who were more rebellious refused to acknowledge the change and continued to celebrate on the last day of the former celebration, April 1. These people were labeled "fools" by the general populace, were subject to ridicule and sent on "fool errands," sent invitations to nonexistent parties and had other practical jokes played upon them. The butts of these pranks became known as a "poisson d'avril" or "April fish" because a young naive fish is easily caught. In addition, one common practice was to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke. This harassment evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continue on the first day of April. This tradition eventually spread elsewhere like to Britain and Scotland in the 18th century and was introduced to the American colonies by the English and the French. Because of this spread to other countries, April Fool's Day has taken on an international flavor with each country celebrating the holiday in its own way. It seems like this tradition has lived on for so long because the people who love pranks really love the day and refuse to give up the tradition. They're the ones who keep it alive. It gives people a chance to escapes from reality even if it is only for a day.