There are a lot of theories regarding the origin of April Fool’s Day. This somewhat ridiculous non-holiday. This is one of the more plausible theories.
In ancient cultures, the calendars generally started New Years around April 1rst. That made sense because that’s right around the vernal equinox and the beginning of Spring. Makes more sense than starting the New Year on January 1rst. Which really makes no sense when you think about.
But it turned out, April 1rst was also when the Church was celebrating their big Easter holiday. And it pissed the Church off that everyone was getting drunk and rabble-rousing and puking in the streets and watching Dick Clark, when they should have been piously celebrating the birth of Christ and all that. Who died for our sins, after all. And who’s followers were known to spoil a good party.
So the Pope put the screws on the local politicians (who were all bought-and-sold by all the lobbyists and special interest groups, as usual). Finally, some shmuck named King Charles IX, the king of France (whoopty-do), bowed to the papal pressure. And in 1564 he decreed that the calendar would be reformed. Reformed, I tell you. Henceforth, from now on, New Years would start on January 1rst. And anybody who didn’t get with the program was likely to find themselves chained in the basement of the Pope’s palace.
Of course people were still in the habit of partying on April 1rst. Humans are a creature of habit, if anything. So the holiday lingered on for awhile in the public imagination. People would still party on April 1rst. Until eventually, people forgot why they were celebrating in the first place. So April 1rst became sort of a joke holiday. A fool’s holiday.
Sounds plausible. Or maybe I just made this all up. APRIL FOOLS!!