Did April Fools' Pranks Begin in Iran?

Most attribute April Fools' Day and its pranks to the changing to the European calendar.  The old Julian calendar was wrong and was replaced by the Gregorian calendar. Introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, the new calendar was shunned by Protestant nations.  This was the era of the Protestant Reformation and Europe's religious wars.  As the calendar was adopted, many found themselves reluctant to acknowledge January 1 as the New Year.  Instead, they continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. (To be more specific, it was usually celebrated during the Spring Equinox, which was usually on or close to April 1).  Thus people refusing to acknowledge the new, New Year were labeled fools

What about the pranks?
These are much older and date back to numerous civilizations.  Roman and Indian civilizations have some of the best documented spring festivals that coincide with pranking.  However, the oldest documentation so far belongs to Persia (modern-Iran).

Sizdah Be-dar
This Perisan holiday has the oldest documented evidence for springtime pranks.  The oldest records that tell of pranks on this day date back to 536 BC.  Typically occuring on April 1 or 2, the true purpose of the holiday is for people to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine and nature.

Spring and Mischief
Perhaps April Fools' Day is just an acknowledgement that people are more prone to crime and mischief with the closing of winter. This study discusses the correlation between crime and the spring season.  I haven't discovered anything about native prank days in the Southern Hemisphere, which has a different spring season.  Please let me know if you know of any and if they correlate to spring or to April.

Thanks for reading!


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