On April 1st, grown ups around the world get to act like kids and pull pranks on their nearest and dearest.

Every year, TV, radio, newspapers, and social media platforms have the public gob smacked by unlikely headlines, households are on edge as families wait for foghorns to go off at the breakfast table, and teachers are exceptionally wary of their students come lunchtime...

Regardless of whether you plan to pull off some pranks or just want to keep yourself from falling for one, it's good to be prepared and know the history of this unusual day.

So where did it all come from anyway?
Fittingly, the origins of April Fools' Day are shrouded in mystery. While some believe that it was used as way to celebrate the turn of the season and welcome spring with joy and foolishness after the short and dark winter days, others think that it refers to the adoption of a new calendar in the Middle Ages.

According to History.com, some historians speculate that the custom dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, whereby the new year began around April 1. Those who forgot that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it around April 1st became known as "April fools."

Some historians have linked the prank-filled day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March and saw people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens.

What historians generally can agree on is that the custom came to Britain during the 18th century, and there is evidence of a two-day event in Scotland called Huntigowk Day that saw people being sent on joke errands and having fake tails stuck to their backside.

What kind of pranks can be pulled?
Whether you want to scare your sister with fake spiders in her shoe or welcome home your other half with a surprise water balloon fight, there are plenty of fun and safe ways to celebrate this silly day.

If, however, you want to take things a step further, take inspiration from these playful pranksters...

A broken antique

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Flying penguins

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Richard Branson's UFO 

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The Taco Liberty Bell

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Spaghetti harvest

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