Some historians think that the Fools’ Day tradition started in France. France switched its New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1 when it adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1564. Hence, people who refused to accept the new date were referred to as April Fools.
Even today, in France, pranksters covertly attach paper fish to their victims backs while yelling “Poisson d’Avril” (April Fish, in French)!
The historic Roman festival of Hilaria is connected to April Fools’ Day as well. It was extremely similar to April Fools’ Day when people played practical jokes on one another during this time.
Gmail was introduced by Google on April 1, 2004. The majority of people, however, assumed that its services were a hoax after seeing the mind-bending features it provided.
On April 1, 2002, NASA pulled another amusing April Fools’ Day prank when it posted a picture of the moon. In reality, it was made of cheese which came with an expiration date!
Many people were fooled into visiting the Tower of London to observe lions being bathed in 1698 as part of an April Fools’ Day prank.
One of the best April Fools’ jokes was made in 1957, when a man named Richard Dimbleby claimed that spaghetti was growing on trees. This was broadcast on a BBC show. Some people fell for it and called to enquire about how they might cultivate their own!
. Read more on Visual Stories by BloombergQuint.