Fun Facts about April Fools’ Day

By Sarah Hughes on 29 Mar 2023

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April Fools’ Day is a chance for you to show off your creativity and sense of humour by playing pranks, jokes, or surprises on other people. It’s a day filled with fun and laughter, whether you choose to prank someone or if you’re simply sitting back watching the fun around you. Here we have some interesting facts about April Fools’ Day that you perhaps did not know.

Did you know…

  • April Fools Day falls on 1st April every year (…hopefully you knew that)


  •  You can only play April Fools’ Day jokes until 12pm on 1st April. If you play a practical joke after 12pm, you become the fool. 


  • April Fools’ Day is celebrated across the world.

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  • In France there is a tradition where people will stick a paper fish to each other’s backs and once it’s been discovered they shout ‘Poisson d’Avril’, which translates to ‘April Fish’.


  • Ancient Romans had a holiday called Hilaria which was very similar to April Fools’ Day. Hilaria is Latin for joyful / cheeriness and was a festival celebrated on the 25th March (spring equinox). Some people believe this may have been where April Fools’ Day originated.


  • Some historians believe April Fools’ Day started in 1582 when France changed from the traditional Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar meant that their New Year fell on 1st April instead of 1st January. Some people didn’t receive the news on time and continued to celebrate New Year on 1st April, making them the butt of jokes and hoaxes, hence April Fools.


  • Some believe April Fools’ Day started on the first day of spring because it’s the time of year Mother Nature fools us into thinking winter is over.

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  • April Fools’ Day celebrations last two days in Scotland. It is also known as ‘Huntigowk Day, ‘Hunt the Gowk’ and ‘Gowkie Day’. Gowk is a word for Cuckoo or foolish person.


  • Today people go to great lengths to create the ultimate April Fools’ Day pranks. TV, radios, newspapers, social media, and websites have participated in the tradition by reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences.


  • The book, The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer contains the first recorded association of 1st April and foolishness. He tells the tale of the vain cockerel, Chanticleer, who is tricked by a fox on the first day of April but eventually escapes, making a fool out of the mean fox.


  • The majority of April Fools’ jokes include a prank where someone is sent on an errand to find something that doesn’t exist or trying to get someone to believe something that is not true.


However you decide to celebrate April Fools’ Day, we’re sure you’re bound to have a lot of fun.


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