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Sunday is April Fools' Day and Easter; it used to mark the new year

Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 02:31:38-04

(RNN) - April Fool's Day has to share its holiday this year, but that's not the first time it's happened.

Easter falls on different Sundays each year and this year, it coincides with April Fools' Day.

The Bible does a really good job covering the origins of Easter, but the roots of April Fools' Day are likely lost to history.

Even if historians don't know the holiday's beginnings, one theory suggests the Catholic Church played a major role.

Centuries ago, the Julian Calendar served as the predominant calendar. It marked Jan. 1 as the start of the new year, but its imperfections led many European nations to celebrate the new year on different days.

Some of those days included March 1, March 25, Easter, Sept. 1 and Dec. 25. Parts of France celebrated the new year from March 25 - April 1.

Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar in 1582. Catholic countries adopted His Holiness' calendar immediately and began recognizing Jan. 1 as the start of the new year.

Protestant nations, however, did not.

According to the History Channel, some historians believe those who were slow to recognize the new calendar were often mocked and teased as April fools.

Fact checkers at Snopes believe this theory is just a legend.

Snopes said other theories involve Spring fooling mankind with unpredictable weather, the ancient Roman celebration of Hilaria and the commemoration of the fruitless mission of the rook, who was sent out in search of land from Noah’s flood-encircled ark.

In modern times, April 1 is a day for pranksters to express their creative genius. Even so, the practical jokes on April 1 are not a modern custom.

The pranking dates back centuries in several cultures. The History Channel credited the British for popularizing the pranks in the 18th century.

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