The origin and superstitions of April Fools' Day

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:

Funny April Fools' Day pranks
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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:
#PatriotsNation breaths a collective sigh of relief when they realize it's #AprilFools Day...
Sriracha Filled Gummies…coming soon.
Introducing Grøüber, the revolutionary new car service from Groupon. Read more:
They said it couldn't be done.
New LinkedIn Magic Mirror: Professional Photo Filters That Reveal Your Secret Career Dreams
We're SO excited to announce our new #SelfieShoes.Step up your selfie game. Take a #shoefie. Watch Now:
Just in time for Earth Month, the NEW Waterless Shower Head! #NoWaterAllClean
Sometimes the best pranks are the simplest ones.
Want to smell like a Whopper? Check out BK's new fragrance: #AprilFools?
Used my moms phone to prank Allegra into thinking she was subscribed cat facts #AprilFools
Introducing #Cudl – our new tablet for couples. No more surfing the web alone; time to #CudlUp
The Google Maps: #PokémonChallenge NEEDS to be real! Who doesn't want to catch 'em all?! via @YouTube
In 1996, @tacobell announced its purchase of the Liberty Bell with this full-page #AprilFools ad.

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.

 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)

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.

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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