|Ha ha! Tricked you!|
1st April is a day to be careful, or you could easily gettrickedby someone. It’s April Fool’s Day, a day when people traditionally like to tryto make a fool ofsomeone else and laugh at them.
There are lots oftheoriessurrounding theoriginsof the day, but one explanation is connected with the change in thecalendarin the 16th century, which meant that 1st April was no longer the beginning of the year. Those who still celebrated the New Year on 1st April were called fools.
So what kind ofpranksdo people play on April Fool’s Day? Well, there are lots of simple tricks that you can play on your friends. For example, you could wear a black sweater and pull a piece of white thread through it, so that people try to pull it off. You could change the time on someone’s alarm clock so that they’re late for work. Or glue a coin to the floor and see how many people try to pick it up.
All these aresmall-scale practical jokeswhich you might play on one other person or a few people. But there’s also a tradition of large companies attempting to fool a lot of people. For example a burger restaurant once claimed that they were introducing aleft-handedburger!
In particular, the media often try to make people believe something which is not true. Newspaperspublishsomeludicrousstories every year, although some of them are actually true. It’s entertaining to try to guess which stories are true and which arefake. In the April Fool’s stories, they often include a clue to the fact that it’s a joke. For example the name of an ‘expert’ quoted in the article might be ananagramof ‘April Fool’.
Radio and television programmes have also fooled many people bybroadcastingreports which are untrue. One programme announced the invention of an amazing newweight-lossproduct - water which contained minuscalories!
And one of the most famoushoaxesever was broadcast by the BBC itself in 1957! A very serious news programme called Panorama reported on the poorspaghetti harvestin Switzerland, and showed pictures of farmers picking spaghetti from trees! Hundreds of people weretaken inand wrote to the BBC asking how to grow their own spaghetti.