April Fools Day: Family Myths and Superstitions

April Fools is observed on the first day of April and it’s been set over time as a day for mischievous pranks and superstitions, often set in good humor.

The origins of this day are debatable.  Some resources say it’s a representation of the Spring season and how the weather can play tricks on us.

One popular theory is that it began in the 1500s when the Gregorian calendar took over from the Julian. Remember this blog explaining the Julian and Gregorian calendar systems? Those who forgot the change and attempted to celebrate New Year’s (previously celebrated on the 1st of April) on the wrong date were teased as “April fools.”

Check out these myths and superstitions. Do you believe in any of these?


A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they’ll appear.

Finding a Penny Heads Up

Finding a penny has a similar meaning to the cardinal. The idea is that the penny was placed there by a relative who has passed on. Being heads up is also a sign of good luck if you pick it up. However, superstition says not to pick up a penny that is found to head down.

Expecting a New Baby?

Some people believe that you can predict the gender of a baby using some weird ‘old wives tale’ methods. Has anyone in your family been accurate when using any of these?

  1. Swing a pendant above the mother’s belly. Does it swing back and forth or in a circle?
  2. Is mom’s belly high or low?
  3. What kind of craving’s is mom having

Horseshoes Above a Door 

Horseshoes above a door are considered to bring good luck. Depending on the direction of the horseshoe, if the ends point up, the shoes catches the luck. If the ends point down, the luck pours over the shoe and onto the person entering the home. Tradition states that they were to be hung in place with seven nails, seven being the luckiest number.

Step on a Crack

Do you remember as a child hearing the phrase “step on a crack, break your mother’s back”? Not a pleasant superstition but did you avoid stepping on that break in the sidewalk thinking it would actually happen?

Does your family have their own superstitions that they believe in? Do you play jokes or pranks on your friends and family? What’s the best April Fools story you have? Keep it clean but tell us about it in the comments!