The Origin of the April Fool

fools thumbnailLYNDONVILLE- The first of April is traditionally thought of as a day of light-hearted jokes and foolery. But where did this tradition come from? Morrigan Stark of the Grindstone Cafe and Wellness Center in Lyndonville told us a bit about the origin of the day of the fool and how it’s not just about playing tricks on your friends and family.


April Fool’s day actually has a direct correlation to New Year’s day, according to a popular version of the origin. “Way back in the dark ages, Pope Gregory VIII ordered that we change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar which moved the observance of New Years’ Day from April 1st to January 1st,” explained Stark. 



Because of the move of New Years’ Day and because it was way before the dawn of the internet age, many people were unaware of this change and thus celebrated New Years’ on the day that they were used to, rather than the day that it was moved to. People who mistakenly celebrated on the wrong day were labeled the fool.  “A lot of people didn’t get the message so they continued to celebrate on the wrong day and so these people were considered the “fools” and so pranks were pulled on them such as paper fish being put on their back.”


The Fool in regards to April Fool’s Day is also related to the Fool that appears on the first tarot card. Stark explained that tarot is basically different archetypes and lessons for how one should live their life. “It can be sort of looked at like it starts with the fool and ends with the world. It can be looked at as a journey and the fool is the one who is on this journey. He’s all about beginnings and fresh starts.”


Starks explained that the fool is symbolic of having the most power when you are standing outside of society’s constructs and looking at things with a fresh eye like a child, therefore, today’s view of April Fool’s as being tricked, actually originated from an early form of self-empowerment and expression.