When is April Fools’ Day 2019? Origin, facts and is April Fools’ Day a bank holiday?

As far as pointless days of the year go, April 1 – otherwise known as April Fools’ Day – is arguably up there with the most.

Every year people all over the world compete to play the worst (or best –depending on whether or not you’re on the receiving end) tricks on each other; be that something as simple as a whoopee cushion on a chair or as grand as a fake proposal.

Whilst the exact origins of the day are unknown, it’s thought to have been celebrated in the UK since at least the 19th century.

Back then, pranks were mostly played on children but nowadays, no one gets away lightly.

Here’s everything you need to know about what is (supposedly) the funniest day of the year, April Fools’ Day:

When is April Fools’ Day?

April Fools’ Day is celebrated on April 1 every year.

April Fools’ Day origins

Newspapers often prank their readers with fake stories on April Fools’ Day (Getty)

There are various theories about where the day actually came from, but the most likely seems to trace all the way back to the late 16th century when Pope Gregory XIII decided it would be a good idea to adopt the Gregorian calendar (no prizes for guessing why).

Where the year had previously started at the end of March, under the new calendar rules it was moved to January 1.

Even though the news was spread, some people clearly didn’t get the message in time and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. Because of this, they were ridiculed and branded as ‘fools’; thus the tradition of April Fools’ Day began.

April Fools’ Day around the world

People take pictures of a giant straw fish in France during April Fools’ Day (Getty)

  • In France, children prank their friends by taping a paper fish to their backs.
  • In Scotland, April Fools’ Day lasts two days. On the second day, known as Taily Day, pranks involving the backside are played. It’s thought to be where “kick me” signs originated.
  • In New York, press releases for a non-existent April Fools’ Day Parade have been released every year since 1986.
  • In Canada and England, April Fools’ Day jokes are only supposed to be played until noon.
  • In Poland, April Fools’ Day is so strongly believed that an anti-Turkish alliance signed on April 1 with Leopold I in 1683 had to be backdated to March 31.

Is April Fools’ Day a bank holiday?

Yes, April Fools’ Day is a national holiday and everyone gets the day off.

Fooled you!

It’s business as usual, I’m afraid.


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