The Hilaria (Festival of Joy)

The Hilaria (Festival of Joy) was celebrated annually on March 25th in ancient Rome. It was a joyous event which commemorated the triumph of day over night after the Vernal Equinox.

The festivities were brought to a close with a “ceremony of washing” which was believed to promote fertility.

Some credit the ancient Roman festival of Hilaria as the inspiration of April Fools’ Day.