The April fool’s day or All Fools ’ Day is celebrated on 1st April of every year. Ever wondered why and how this day came into existence? Was it a fool’s birthday or one of the biggest scams that ever happened?
Well, there are many occurrences and instances in history about the existence of the day but the exact origin remains a mystery.
April fool’s day was mostly popularized by the English people in the year 1700 as an annual tradition of playing practical jokes on each other. The prank included fooling people by giving them false news and having paper fish placed on the back of someone and referring him as “poisson d’avril” or the April Fish symbolizing the easily foolable person.
In France ( the year 1582 )
In 1582 France switched to the Gregorian calendar from Julian calendar by the Council of Trent in 1563. During 1563 newspapers were yet to be invented. There was no proper way of spreading the news. Many people were slow to get the news, that the starting of New Year had moved to 1st January, continued to celebrate in last week of March through 1st April. Others started calling those people fools and became the butt of jokes.
In Ancient Rome
Historians have also linked April Fool’s Day to festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fool’s Day was tied to the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.
April fool’s day was popularized in Britain especially Scotland during 18th Century. People started a two-day event, starting with “hunting the cuckoo bird”. The cuckoo bird was referred as a symbol for a fool. The event was followed by Tailie Day in which pranks were played on people’s back, such as pinning fake tails or random signs such as “Kick me”, “slap me” etc.
In today’s era
Well, April fool’s day took an extra step with the ease of TV, Radio, and the Internet. There are some popular pranks played worldwide. Some of the most popular are as follows –
1. 1957 Spaghetti Crop
In 1957, BBC news reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of farmers harvesting noodles from the trees.
Watch the video
2. Viagra for Hamsters
In 2000, England’s newspaper Independent ran a hoax story headlining – “Scientists develop wonder pill to boost libido of sexually inadequate pets.”
The story said that a new brand name “Feralmone” has launched a new boner pill for pets.
3. Google Gulp
The digital oligarchs at Google have pulled multiple April Fools pranks nearly every year since 2000. One shining example was 2005’s “Google Gulp,” a soft drink that would facilitate one’s search-engine experience by increasing the intelligence of whomever imbibed Google’s new beverage, which came in flavors such as Glutamate Grape, Beta-Carroty, and Sero-Tonic Water.
Anyone who fell for the prank unwittingly revealed that they would benefit from having their intelligence increased.
4. Twitter Downsizing the character limits to 133
In 2012, a Tweet from NPR News announced that “Tweets Will Shrink To 133 Characters: The seven-character change is expected to save Twitter $1.4 billion this year.” After revealing the prank, NPR said that other April Fools ideas they’d rejected included “Facebook Adds ‘Meh’ Button” and “Penguin Brawls Reported From Shrinking North Pole.”
6.Burger King’s “Left Handed Whooper”
On April 1, 1998, Burger King took out a full-page ad in USA Today claiming that they were releasing a “Left-Handed Whopper” to enhance the fast-food dining experience of the 32 million who are left-handed. The new Whopper was exactly like the regular
Whopper, only it had been “rotated 180 degrees” to accommodate the unique gustatory needs of lefties. Similar April Fools pranks include a left-handed Mars bar, a left-handed Toshiba notebook, a left-handed cellphone, and a left-handed golf ball.
This was the history of April Fools Day. Who knows what more to come. Comment below if you like the article. You can subscribe to the newsletter and always get the email whenever we add new post.