Here are five things you didn’t know about April Fools’ Day and some of the best pranks ever pulled.
Most people have heard of April Fools’ Day, also called All Fools’ Day, but many do not know the specific origins and some of the greatest April Fools’ Day pranks ever pulled.
Here are five things you might not have known about April Fools’ Day:
1. Scots celebrate April Gowk day for two days.
In Scotland in the 1700s, people would celebrate over a course of two days. The first day, pranksters would “hunt gowks,” which is another word for a cuckoo bird and a symbol for a fool. People would hunt the fools by sending them on phony errands. The second day, called Tailie Day, was dedicated to putting things on people’s backs, according to History.com.
People seem to have stepped it up a notch since then.
2. Rome would wear costumes during Roman Laughing Day
Rome celebrated Hilaria, an ancient festival in which people would dress up in disguises. Now, Hilaria is called Roman Laughing Day.
3. BBC reported that there were spaghetti trees in 1957.
You might have heard BBC once reported that Big Ben in London was going to become a digital clock. Did you know that in 1957, BBC reported Swiss farmers were experiencing a high spaghetti crop yield? BBC actually showed footage of people picking noodles off trees.
4. A radio station once ordered Athens, Greece, to be evacuated.
In 1982, a radio station in Athens, Greece, released a statement saying Athens’ pollution level was so high that the city had to be evacuated. It ordered schools to close and people to abandon their cars on the side of the road. They were sued for $820,000, and the director of the network ended up resigning, according to hoaxes.org.
5. The Associated Press got fooled.
The Associated Press interviewed a Boston University professor, Joseph Boskin, about the origins of April Fools’ Day. He told The Associated Press April Fools’ Day started when one of Emperor Constantine’s fools, named Kugel, said he could do a better job at ruling than Constantine, so Constantine allowed the fool to rule for a day. It became a tradition in which only the absurd could rule for a day. The Associated Press wrote the article, and several weeks later Boskin said the whole story was just a prank. Kugel is actually a Jewish casserole.