Did you ever wonder where this silly holiday came from? Also called All Fools’ Day, it has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, but its exact origins remain a mystery.
Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 and became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. It became a popular holiday in 1700 in England when pranksters begin playing practical jokes on each other.
April Fools’ Day has also been linked to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises.
My favorite speculation and the one that is so appropriate to Colorado is the conjecture that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather. We have certainly have had our April Fools’ from Mother Nature!
In any event, if you receive a packet of these, dear gardener, enjoy!