April happens to be the month of many memorable holidays: Earth Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, etc., but first we celebrate April Fool’s Day.
While there is no known history of how April Fool’s started, it has become one of those holidays in which everyone can participate in, while having fun with friends.
Some historians speculate that it started in the late of 1500s when the French switched to the Gregorian calendar. People were confused because they were slow to realize that the start of the new year was January 1 instead of April 1. They continued to celebrate the new year on April 1, while others pulled pranks on those still celebrating it in April.
“These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person,” according to history.com
There are other pagan holidays that celebrate their own version of April Fool’s. The Romans held festivals called Hilaria in which cult member of Cybele would dress up in disguises that would mock other citizens and the magistrates.
“There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather,” according to history.com.
April Fool’s did not become popular until the 1700s when English men would pull pranks on each other such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs. In Europe some pranks are taken too seriously leave people confused.
For example, “BBC aired a segment in which a Swiss farming family harvested long strands of pasta from their spaghetti trees. In England at that time, Spaghetti was still an exotic delicacy with mysterious origins, so many viewers bought the report hook, line and sinker. Some even called in to ask how to grow spaghetti trees of their own. The BBC reportedly suggested, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best,” according to history.com.
Since then, the holiday has spread all around the world and have given companies the opportunity to fool their customers.
“In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell.” And in 1998, “Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.” states history.com.
Along with fast food chains, Google has been known to pull some hilarious pranks.
In 2015, Google released Pac-Maps on April Fool’s, which allowed users to play Pacman on Google Maps. Also, they released a new product for your backyard or garden called Google Gnome.
“It’s a smart gnome for your lawn that can tell you the direction of the wind and inform your child that all living things decompose, “according to an article from The Verge.
Today, you can ask your Google Assistant about April Fool’s in which it will reply with cryptic advice about weary of those you trust and do not believe everything you see. Google says that it is a way to showcase the Assistant’s personality.
Here are some classic pranks to pull on your friends and family this year:
- Caramelize onions
- Toothpaste in Oreos
- Mixed bowl of Skittles, M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces
- Cover a car with Post-it stickers
- Put googly eyes on food in your fridge
- Line cups of water throughout the hallways
- Write message on toilet paper
- Place fake bugs everywhere