Maybe some people run on April 1st today, where did this particular custom come from, to fool people on this particular day of the year? And which pranks are the most memorable?
April Fools are old, but no one really knows how this custom started. Many believe that the origin dates back to the year 1582, when the French changed their calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian, which we all know today. In the Julian calendar, the new year began around April 1.
But without the media and the internet, the public was slow to accept the change, and many were still celebrating New Year’s Eve in early April. Those who were the last to receive the new calendar became the butt of jokes.
For example, a fish would sneak behind his clothes to show that the person was not the most lucid, surely gullible, and could therefore eat at will.
Others say that the beginning of April Fool’s Day dates back to ancient Rome, when believers of the goddess Cybele held a festival at the end of March. This involved dressing up in masks and playing pranks on their fellow citizens.
It can be argued that this tradition is even older, is defined as the offspring of a similar festival in ancient Egypt in honor of the goddess Isis, and if there is something to it, the fish of April are not only hundreds of years old, but thousands of years old.
Some pranks over time have been the weirdest, and here you can read some of them.
The spaghetti tree
On April 1, 1957, British national television, the BBC, aired a program about a Swiss family growing, and waiting for, a spaghetti tree.
In the episode, the family was seen happily picking the “harvest” from the trees.
In those years, pasta was neglected on British tables and a large part of the population had no idea of its origin. On the show, the mantra was that you can make delicious meals by picking pasta from trees and pouring tomato sauce on it.
British housewives were very enthusiastic about this innovation and the BBC received calls from curious people who wanted to know where to find such a tree.
Left handed burger
In 1998, the Burger King company decided to go all out on April Fool’s Day and purchased advertisements to appear on April 1 in several media outlets.
In it, Burger King announced that it had finally launched a menu, especially for left-handed people, and the main course was called the Left-Handed Whopper, but many Icelandic travelers are familiar with the company’s Whopper.
Thousands of people, most presumably left-handed, flocked to Burger King and wanted to order from the new menu. Burger King’s expectations of how many people would fall for the hoax therefore exceeded all expectations.
The best album in the world
In 1969, the Rolling Stones magazine decided, for the entertainment of the employees, to have an April Fool’s Day, the preparation of which took months.
They announced that The Beatles, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan had together formed a “supergroup” and released an album. There was indeed an album released, but the musicians above were nowhere near making it. The songs were taken from various sources and it was explained that the names of the artists were not on the album for “artistic reasons” and that only a few copies were available.
The magazine asked radio stations to play the songs, and on April 1 the Rolling Stones released a review calling the album one of the best in human history.
Thousands of people flocked to record stores to secure this nugget, only to find it was a record.
Big Ben goes digital
BBC comedians have evidently won over the years, because in 1980 British national television announced that the Big Ben clock, which has been a feature of London since 1857, would now be digitised. Of course, in line with the new times. Should Big Ben now show the passage of time on a computer screen?
The British didn’t take the news well, to say the least, and received thousands of complaints to the authorities from angry people who opposed ‘modernisation’.
A moment without gravity
And again to the BBC. On April 1, 1976, the astronaut announced on a BBC morning show that at 9:47 a.m. on the same day, the planets Pluto and Jupiter would be in a unique position relative to each other. This only happened a few times every thousand years and would have the effect of drastically reducing Earth’s gravity for a few minutes.
Therefore, people could float but only for one minute.
At 09:48 the BBC telephone system crashed due to the number of people who claimed to have floated and wanted to share their story.
Nylon stockings and color TV
There are more national TV stations than the BBC that have published successful pranks.
On April 1, 1962, Swedish national television announced a groundbreaking discovery. If nylon tights were stretched and placed over a television, it would be possible to see the program in color. The tights were almost sold out in Sweden, but to the disappointment of the public, everything was as black and white as before.
It wasn’t until eight years later, in 1970, that Swedish television really started broadcasting in color.
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