Why Do April Fools’ Day Jokes Stop At 12pm? How It Started

April Fools’ Day: Every year April Fools’ Day comes around and you’ll probably know it as a day for pranking the people closest to you.

Little jokes are played on people and you’re likely familiar with the main rule of the day which is that the pranks have to end at 12pm noon but why is that?

To help you better understand April Fools’ Day and its origins, the team at Slingo has answered some of the key questions you might have about the annual event.

What Is April Fools’ Day?

April Fools’ Day, April Fools’ is essentially a free pass to prank friends, families and colleagues on April 1 every year.

When should pranks stop on April Fools’ Day and what happens if you carry on?

Jokes told or carried out on April Fools’ Day should come to a stop once midday is here, the team at Slingo explains.

The idea is that you come clean for any jokes or pranks you did by midday or you’ll be referred to as the April Fool.

The team at Slingo said: “This rule has a range of theories, including the idea that the day honours the spirit of Folly, a force believed to be very powerful.

“Because of this, the day needs to be contained within some sort of limit to avoid outright chaos.

April Fools’ Day, “Another potential explanation is that people ‘wise up throughout the day’, whereas in the morning people are more susceptible and gullible.”

This rule can be traced back as early as 1851 in a passage written in a British Journal which said those who played pranks in the afternoon would be told: “April fool’s gone past, You’re the biggest fool at last.”

April Fools' Day

How Did April Fools’ Day Originate?

April Fools’ Day, Slingo explains that there isn’t just one theory as to how the annual day came about, saying: “There’s not one confirmed theory for the origin of the day, however, one popular theory originates from the theory that April Fools’ Day is linked to the vernal equinox.

“The unpredictable and changeable weather around this time led to the idea that Mother Nature was fooling people. With the end of winter, some April Fools’ Day history could be linked to the idea that creative energies return as spring starts.

“However, the spring equinox does not occur on April 1st, leading to the question of how we have come to celebrate on this particular day.

What is the spring equilux and when is it? See how it differs from the equinox

April Fools’ Day, “This leads to another popular theory which stems from France. In 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. In the Julian Calendar, the new year begins with the spring equinox around April 1st, whereas the new year in the Julian calendar starts on January 1st.

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“People who continued to celebrate the New Year around April 1st were called “April fools” for failing to recognize the change of the calendars.

“Another popular theory among historians comes from ancient Rome. Hilaria, which is Latin for joyful, were festivals was celebrated towards the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele and entailed members of the cult dressing up in disguises and mocking and pulling jokes towards citizens.

April Fools’ Day, “The festival was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legends of Osiris, Isis, and Seth and is now said to have potentially inspired April Fools’ Day as we know it today.”

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