A Midwestern historian has the explanation for why we call this “April Fools Day” or “All Fools Day” Historian Dale Thomas says under the old Julian calendar written up in the time of Juluis Caesar, New Year’s Day was the first of April…but with the passage of years it proved inaccurate. The “New Year’s Day” was not lining up with the equinox any more, so Pope Gregory II made several corrections, adding a Leap Year and proclaiming that “new year’s” was to begin on January first. While once the New Year had begun in spring, or the vernal equinox, a propaganda campaign began to convince everyone to use the new calendar. It didn’t catch on immediately in France, where some continued to celebrate the old date of New Year’s but they were called April Fools for not taking up the change. Since word traveled so slowly back then, it actually took centuries for some countries to change or accept the Gregorian calendar. Those who continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st were branded fools and often sent on “fool’s errands” by those who were wise to the switch. The last European Country reported to make the calendar switch was Russia in 1918.
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