The origin and superstitions of April Fools' Day

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

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. 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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