April Fool’s Day is almost here. This year, it coincides with a celebration of the greatest prankster of all time: Jesus.
Have you ever wondered how the day got its start? There are several theories about the origin of April Fool’s Day. Here’s a short and sweet history lesson, to keep you from feeling a fool.
Some believe the first mention of the day appeared in “The Canterbury Tales” in 1392. One tale is set on March 32nd (which can be interpreted as April 1st) and emphasizes foolishness.
Others believe the day started in the 1500s. France changed from the Julian to Gregorian calendar, and the beginning of the year went from the end of March to the beginning of January. The slow-to-adapt were deemed “fools.”
However it began, April Fool’s Day is a very real thing. Sometimes TOO real. Pranks range from small to epic, stupid to hilarious – and some are just downright distasteful.
The Museum of Hoaxes has a list of “The Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time”, some of which include:
April 1, 1957: A BBC news show announced that Swiss farmers were enjoying a successful year for their spaghetti crop. After showing footage of Swiss peasants picking spaghetti from trees, many viewers called to ask 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.”
April 1, 1998: Burger King published a full page ad in USA Today announcing the introduction of the “Left-Handed Whopper,” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans.