The origin could have to do with the fact that in 16th century France, New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1 when they adopted the Gregorian calendar. Those who continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1 rather than the new date were called ‘April Fools’ and people cracked jokes on them and played pranks.
In France, the day is referred to as ‘Poisson d’Avril.’ French kids tape a paper fish to their friends’ backs, and when the person who is being pranked discovers this, their friend yells ‘Poisson d’Avril’. In Scotland, April Fools’ goes on for two days, those who are pranked are referred to as gowks (cuckoo birds).
Over the years, these have been some of the most memorable pranks On April Fool’s Day:
From 1986 until now, press releases for the (made up) New York City April Fools’ Day Parade have been issued every year.
In 1996, Taco Bell Corp. ran a full-page ad in numerous newspapers claiming that they had bought the Liberty Bell and would be renaming it ‘Taco Liberty Bell.’
In 2008 the BBC ran a video of flying penguins in which the anchor explained how the penguins had escaped the cold Antarctic weather by migrating all the way to the South American tropical rainforests.
But probably the best of all was in 2013, when The Guardian announced that they had launched their own augmented reality device, Guardian Goggles, which would, “beam its journalism directly into the wearer’s visual field, enabling users to see the world through the Guardian’s eyes at all times.”
First Published: Apr 01, 2019 12:24 IST