April 1st is April Fool’s Day. Why, nobody knows.

 

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Chaucer possibly referred to it in the 14th Century, but he didn’t make it clear that it was the 1st April.

The first definite references to it came from France and Holland in the 1500s. It was also known as April Fish Day. Apparently fish were very easy to catch in rivers and streams then – silly fish!

Jokers sometimes stuck a paper fish on people’s backs without them knowing about it.

On the 1st April 1698, people were told that they could watch The Washing of the Lions in the Tower of London moat. But it was a Fool’s Errand.

Nobody doubted that it was true as a lot of exotic animals used to be kept in the Tower then.

Sending people to see the Washing of the Lions remained a favourite April Fool’s Day joke for over a century. And in the mid-19th Century some jokers had official-looking tickets printed and distributed around London on the 1st April, offering admittance to watch the Annual Lion-Washing Ceremony.

Plastic spiders are always successful. And office jokes are often quite funny, like printed signs saying that toasters, photocopiers, etc are now voice activated.

Be careful of doctoring food though, especially in these times where someone might sue, with the help of their dodgy solicitor!

Onions disguised as toffee apples is funny, but there are people with onion allergies.

Revenge jokes are often memorable, like cruelly dumped girlfriends advertising their ex’s adored car for a fraction of their value, with his mobile number.

The Media has sometimes come up with great hoaxes. One of the favourites is still the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.download

On the 1st April, 1957 Panorama ran a programme about a bumper spaghetti harvest in Southern Switzerland, thanks to an unusually mild winter and the elimination of the Spaghetti Weevil.

The greatly respected Richard Dimbleby seriously discussed the spaghetti crop as a film was shown of a Swiss family picking pasta off a tree and placing it in their baskets.

He ended with saying, For those who love this dish, there’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.

Hundreds of people phoned the BBC, asking how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. The BBC replied Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.
This remains one of the most popular April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time, and it’s believed to be the first time that the TV was used for an April Fool’s Day hoax.

But be warned; it’s said that April Fool’s Day tricks can only be played up to midday. Then you have to say,

Up the ladder and down the wall

You’re the biggest fool of all!