Origins and Some Theories
April 1 may not have always been the actual date. The origins of this holiday are relatively unknown and even the connections to the theories are specious. So what do we know?
The name April stems from the Latin word, Aprilis, which is derived from the verb Aperire meaning “to open" because it is a month when flowers open and grow.
In addition, the ancient Romans revered their gods and Venus, the Roman goddess of love, was devoted to Aprilis. Her festival—not April Fool’s Day but the Veneralia—was celebrated on the first of April. Back then, however, April was the second month in the ancient Roman year when March began their calendar.
We also know that the vernal equinox takes place around April. This playful season causes many a person to have spring in their step. April Fool’s Day is unaffected by Easter and may have something to do with ancient non-Christian religious celebrations, such as Hiliaria of ancient Rome or the Holi festival of India. Both are spring festivals during which participants ignore rules and generally act a little crazy (at Holi they throw dried paint colors at each other’s faces!). It is not however, the same as the “Feast of Fools", a parody of the church or the mocking of authorities as in role reversals.