The origin and superstitions of April Fools' Day

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April Fools' Day: A History of the Best Media Pranks

Many people use April Fools' Day as a convenient excuse to lie, cheat, and trick their friends -- for fun, of course. The day has also also evolved in recent years into a massive Internet event, with brands like Google, Facebook, and Netflix rushing to prank their users in hopes of capturing the buzz of the day.

But have you ever wondered why at the start of April everyone turns into Ashton Kutcher from 2003?

It turns out there are actually multiple theories, and some are shrouded in mystery.

Click through some of the top April Fools' Day jokes from 2015:

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Pranks gallery to add to April Fools' Day pages (fun photos only)
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The origin and superstitions of April Fools' Day
Just a few hours left to get the all-new #SelfieStick for dogs! Buy it now: http://t.co/Rdh1l1vUve http://t.co/UHiu8upvJH
#PatriotsNation breaths a collective sigh of relief when they realize it's #AprilFools Day...http://t.co/S8NIq5AzLw http://t.co/rq9r3VDbUm
Sriracha Filled Gummies…coming soon. http://t.co/T5UKLWyP4t
Introducing Grøüber, the revolutionary new car service from Groupon. Read more: http://t.co/kXVCjtqnHR http://t.co/7cjXjQpJzD
They said it couldn't be done. https://t.co/IkdLHLbaXJ
New LinkedIn Magic Mirror: Professional Photo Filters That Reveal Your Secret Career Dreams http://t.co/fOwEZV2Yk0 http://t.co/cymyrfdxrX
We're SO excited to announce our new #SelfieShoes.Step up your selfie game. Take a #shoefie. Watch Now: http://t.co/ks8L26fFqL
Just in time for Earth Month, the NEW Waterless Shower Head! #NoWaterAllClean http://t.co/UB8kSF2ArJ http://t.co/N26qfmJOv1
Sometimes the best pranks are the simplest ones. http://t.co/YSdxW4cV6Z http://t.co/KqhWw2GerC
Want to smell like a Whopper? Check out BK's new fragrance: http://t.co/BAEn2sPHX5 #AprilFools? http://t.co/8H41TyE09E
Used my moms phone to prank Allegra into thinking she was subscribed cat facts #AprilFools http://t.co/rPN2nMlFRj
Introducing #Cudl – our new tablet for couples. No more surfing the web alone; time to #CudlUp http://t.co/xJcGMBiBV6 http://t.co/LW8QAIvf8l
The Google Maps: #PokémonChallenge NEEDS to be real! Who doesn't want to catch 'em all?! http://t.co/qwlc2lxFh5 via @YouTube
In 1996, @tacobell announced its purchase of the Liberty Bell with this full-page #AprilFools ad. http://t.co/zRvkwmeut8

April Fools Day 2010

photo: JeffreyNathaniel/Flickr

The Hoff pasted to the back of her car , someone was in that front room playing video games or something and never saw us do any of this.

photo: PalaceofPranks/Flickr

It's easy to find the poster I added, but I can't take credit for it. I read about some genius posting these around New York City. I found it hillarious, and so did anyone I showed it too. It went over pretty well... for a few hours. But once again, someone without a sense of humor took these down too.

photo: Perfectance/Flickr

Do give this one a try! (IF you have no printer, you can always sketch a fish on paper, right?) Works excellent on colleagues, fellow students, family members and random strangers.

photo: vintagedept/Flickr

Topeka? Yes, for April Fools Day, Google changed its name to Topeka. There is a story behind this prank.

photo: arellis49/Flickr

For April Fools day, I converted my site into a Lisa Loeb fan site.

Pedestrians walk through an "e-lane" Monday, April 2, 2012, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter used April Fool's Day to have a little fun with what he says is a real problem: distracted walking. City officials painted lines and oblivious stick-figure pictures on one stretch of John F. Kennedy Boulevard near City Hall as a jab at pedestrians who keep their eyes on their cellphone screens and not their surroundings. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
This frame grab image released by Google shows the Google Nose site, a parody site in celebration of April Fools' Day. Having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, the company on Monday showcased “Google Nose,” adding scents to it search results. (AP Photo/Google)
 A roll of paper towel frosted with icing and sugar confections to make it look like a real cake. Goes with April Fools Pranks story.  (Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Legislative intern Luke Hansen works at his aluminum-foil-coverd desk at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., Friday, April 1, 2005. As an April Fools' day prank, fellow interns wraped Hansen's desk and everything on it with aluminum foil. Hansen is from Milwaukee, Wis. He is a second-year law student at the University of North Dakota. (AP Photo/Will Kincaid)

LinkedIn April Fools Recommendations 

photo: DavidErickson/Flickr

Best April Fools prank do far goes to @WarbyParker for their new Canine Collection. 

photo: [kilodelta]/Flickr

Ready for a shopping experience built around you? Buckle up. The #FannyBasket has arrived. Check the link in our profile for the whole story.
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One of the more popular theories on why we have April Fools' Day, or All Fools' Day, centers around the West's adoption of the Gregorian calendar during the 1500s, which moved the New Year from March 25 to the first of January.

According to this particular origin, if a person were to be deceived into thinking April 1 was still the day to celebrate the New Year they would be deemed the April Fool-- surely a boost to anyone's self esteem. Making such a mistake would earn you the title of town fool for the month.

The early Spring date fuels another another popular theory for the holiday's creation. According to the Encyclopedia of Religion and the Encyclopedia Britannica, nature "fools" mankind with unpredictable weather that the season brings.

Snopes.com also says others theorize it may be related to the Vernal Equinox, or even the "Romans' end-of-winter celebration, Hilaria, and the end of the Celtic new year festival."

There are even some superstitions surrounding the jokester holiday. Legend has it that if you perform a prank after noon on April 1, you can expect some bad luck in your future. Others insist you'll garner bad fortune if you can't take your April Fools' Day prank well, so you may want to try to avoid an overly salty reactions.

So make sure you get your April Fool's antics in before lunch time and hope your victims appreciate your well-planned high jinks in the morning.

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