April 1st, when practical jokes are in order. An April Fool is called in Franceun poisson d'Avril, and in Scotland a gowk (cuckoo). In Hindustan similar tricks are played at the Huli Festival (March 31st); so that it probably does not refer to the uncertainty of the weather, nor yet to the mockery trial of our Redeemer, the two most popular explanations. A better solution is this: As March 25th used to be New Year's Day, April 1st was its octave, when its festivities culminated and ended.
It may he a relic of the Roman "Cerealia," held at the beginning of April. The tale is that Proserpina was sporting in the Elysian meadows, and had just tilled her lap with daffodils, when Pluto carried her off to the lower world. Her mother, Ceres, heard the echo of her screams, and went in search of "the voice"; but her search was a fool's errand.