The Apple Of God's Eye

March 9, 2009

What Is The Origin Of April Fool's Day?

April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day is of ancient origin. The custom of playing practical jokes on friends or sending them on fools’ errands on a particular day was practiced from earliest times.

The “Concise Dictionary of Holidays” says, “The tradition of setting aside some special day for making a fool out of other people has its roots in antiquity” (page 5).

The Book of Days says, “To find the practice so widely prevalent over the earth, and with so near a coincidence of day, seems to indicate that it has had a very early origin amongst mankind” (page 462).

The “Encyclopaedia Britannica” says this: “What seems certain is that it [April Fool’s Day] is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year’s Day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April. This view gains support from the fact that the exact counterpart of April-fooling is found to have been an immemorial custom in India. The festival of the spring equinox is there termed the feast of Huli, the last of which is the 31st of March, upon which the chief amusement is the befooling of people by sending them on fruitless errands.”

Even though the roots of April Fool’s Day are not known precisely, the evidence clearly indicates that it is of pagan origin. That alone should tell us what God thinks of it.

April Fool’s Day is not mentioned in the Bible, but its foundation and instructions regarding it are. Foolish jesting is condemned in God’s Word (Eph. 5:4). And, as with any worldly custom taken from pagan tradition, God warns, “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jer. 10:2) and, “Come out from among them and be separate” (II Cor. 6:17, RAV). Clearly, the followers of Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with April Fool’s Day.

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