Why do we have April Fool’s Day?

Have you ever been caught out on April Fool’s day and wondered why this day actually occurs?

Most cultures, ancient and modern, have a special day when playing practical jokes is encouraged.  This day often occurs at the same time as the arrival of spring, when everyone is relieved to have survived winter and is looking forward to summer.

That’s the background, but the reason the date is 1 April might be because a few hundred years ago, New Year’s Day was celebrated on 25th March, with festivities that ended on 1st April.

When the calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s day became 1st January, so people who still celebrated it on 1st April were called April Fools.