The earliest source for April 1, a worldwide festival of jokes, pranks and tricks, is Dutch manuscripts that originated before 1539. Nobody is quite sure of other sources. There are many theories on the birth of this strange celebration, but one source said exactly like this: It could all be just a prank.
The most popular theory of the April Fools joke dates back to 16th century France. King IX. When Charles moved the New Year’s Eve from the end of March to January 1, those who celebrated in the spring were joked, and this was called the April 1st joke. Another theory is linked to the tradition of fishing newly hatched fish in early April. Because joking on April 1 turned into a tradition of celebrating the abundance of “stupid” fish. The French still call the April 1 joke as the April Fish.
The important meeting of German lawmakers in Augsburg was to take place on April 1, 1530, it was canceled. Some citizens had bet that the meeting would be held. However, bettors who lost their money were mocked for their suck. Thus, it became a tradition to joke on April 1.
The British legend about the April 1 celebration is based on the town of Gothamad. The inhabitants prevented the king from passing through the town because the king’s roads turned into public property. The king sent his army to punish the townspeople, but when the soldiers arrived in town he encountered people acting like crazy. Actually, the smart townspeople were just playing games, but the king decided people were too stupid to be punished.
The Netherlands gained its independence from Spain almost a century after the war. In a critical battle fought on April 1, 1572, Dutch rebels captured the city of Den Briel. And they made it a tradition to celebrate the anniversary of the war by prank.
A group of fools persuaded Emperor Constantine to make one of them king for a day. Constantine made the madman named Kugel the king of April 1. Kugel also declared that day as a prank day.
Important note: This theory itself is an April Fools joke. In 1983, Boston University professor Joseph Boskin deceived the Associated Press reporter with this story.