April Fools’ Day Superstitions and Origin

April Fools' Day Prank
By InPhonic Customer Service / InPhonic [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
April Fools’ Day is right around the corner folks.  I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by.

Practical jokes on April fools’ day are definitely more fun for the prankster than for the recipient, but they are sure to take place none the less.

But do we ever give much thought to where or how April fools’ day was started or any of the superstitions that surround it?

We’ll start by going over the origin of April fools’ day then go into some of the superstitions that it has created.

The Origin of April Fools’ Day

April 1st, a day in which special privilege to pranksters was given, it is an open day to pull all their favorite jokes on family, co-workers and friends.

This unusual holiday was possibly derived from an ancient Roman festival.  This custom originated in France, 1564, a time when the beginning of the new year was changed from the 25th of March to the 1st of January.

But how does this relate to April fools’ day?  Well the first of a new year was for centuries celebrated on the first day of April.  This is because since the new year was actually on March 25th   and that day fell on a Holy Week, celebrations were postponed until April first.

So with a new calendar and the beginning of the new year now being January first, an idea for a joke was born.  French peasants thought it would be funny to arrive at their friends and families home on April first. Hopefully to fool them into thinking they had arrived to celebrate the first day of the New Year, instead of on January 1st like the new calendar stated.

So as times rolled forward it eventually just became custom to pull pranks and jokes on people on April first, thus a new trend was born.

Some Superstitions About April Fools’ Day

Now let’s go over some of the superstitions associated with April fools’ day.

One superstition about April fools’ day states that the “license” to play jokes on folks expires at 12 o’clock noon.  And if you attempt to play a prank on someone after this deadline then it will bring the prankster bad luck.

If you refuse to respond to a joke or prank that is played on you with anything other than tolerance and amusement, then you may also be victim of bad luck.

Now here’s a good one.  Superstition states that if you’re fooled by a pretty girl, then you will either be married to or at the very least, become good friends with the girl that fooled you.

So should you get married on April fools’ day?  According to superstition, this is not a good idea for a man.  It states that any man married on April fools’ day will be permanently ruled by his wife.

And as for those born on April first, you should expect to receive good luck in most matters, except for gambling.  You will meet certain disaster if taking part in any form of gambling and will most certainly go home with empty pockets!

So there you have it, a quick run down of how April fools’ day became a custom and some of the superstitions that have formed from it.

I hope you all have some more goodies to add on the subject of April Fools’ Superstitions and Origins. If you do, please share with us in the comments below!

Also, don’t forget to check out the other Great Superstitions found on Odd Random Thoughts.

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6 thoughts on “April Fools’ Day Superstitions and Origin
  1. Nice post!!! It is also very much informative. I’ve several misconceptions about this day. Now, it is clear. Thanks for the information.

    1. Thank you Nazrul, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’ve never been a big fan of either receiving or dishing out April Fools’ jokes myself, but some folks live for it! That’s usually the ones I run from when I see them…lol

  2. Never knew about this either!! It’s good to know the reasons behind everything and origin.

    1. Some people may call all this useless information, but I’m with you Hugh, I find it fascinating!

  3. It’s really cool idea, I like the superstitions details given by you. Great job Robert – keep it up!

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