April Fool’s Day

1 Apr

The origins of April Fool’s Day are unclear. However, most people believe it stems from 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new (Gregorian) calendar which changed New Year from April to January. Those who refused to accept the new change were known as fools and people often played pranks on them.

It’s also the time when Mother Nature teases us with constant changes in weather, tricking us into thinking it’s summer, so that we make fools of ourselves by leaving our coats behind.

Famous pranks

Over the years on April 1st there have been hundreds of pranks played by newspapers, TV programmes and big corporations.

One of the most famous April Fool’s jokes was in 1957 when the BBC show Panorama showed footage of the ‘Swiss Spaghetti Harvest’* and people rang up asking how to grow their own spaghetti tree.


In 2008 the BBC released footage of flying penguins which migrated to South America to escape the winters.** Thousands of people were taken in and the video became one of the most popular videos on the Internet.

Famous for their spoof adverts each April 1st, last year BMW announced the launch of a limited edition M3 coupé for the royal wedding, available in Regal Red, Bridal White and Imperial Blue. Unsurprisingly people clamoured for more information, desperate to get a ‘Will BMW‘.

April Fool’s pranks are normally pretty harmless, but even so – be careful what you believe on Sunday.

Trick or Treat:

As April Fool’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, there’s even more reason to play some tricks on someone.


Place a Post-It note over the laser in the mouse and then unplug the mouse from the computer

  • Download an App onto their iPhone, which tricks them into thinking it’s broken (iphoneception.com)
  • Glue a £1 coin to the pavement outside your house and see how many people stop to pick it up
  • Swap the salt and sugar round and offer to make everyone a cup of tea

* http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

** http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/P10


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