Sunday, April 01, 2007

10 things you never knew about april fools

1. No definitive history is known for the date, but several theories exist to explain the origin of April Fools' Day. One cites 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII called for his followers to adopt a new calendar (which became known as the Gregorian calendar) calling January 1 the first day of the year. This replaced the Julian calendar, which cited April 1 as the first day. People who either refused to accept the new calendar or didn't know it existed were ridiculed as April Fools.

2. Another theory ties April Fools' Day to the festival Hilaria celebrated by ancient Romans. The March 25 event called for Romans to frolic with great humor in anticipation of the resurrection of their vegetation god Attis.

3. Hindus celebrate a holiday called Holi, which some have seen as sharing qualities with April Fools' Day. Hindus reenact the saving of the son of an ancient king, which culminates in the joyous dousing of each other in colored powders. Children get carried away acting silly and getting dirty with the powder, one of few times adults encourage them to make a mess of themselves.
(link to pics of the holi festival)

4. In France, April Fools' Day is observed as Poisson d'Avril, which means "April Fish." On this date, children try to place a picture of a fish on the back of another child and yell "Poisson d'Avril" when the fooled child realizes the prank. It's been said that April Fish is similar to April Fool in that a fish born in April would be young and foolish.
(link to pics)

5. Many publications, websites, TV and radio outlets will include bogus April Fools' Day articles to trick their audiences. To tip off the more clever audience members, they will frequently include the words "Lirpa Loof" (April Fool spelled backwards) often as a person's name.

6. Famous Pranks: Google has been known to trick its users on April Fools' by announcing bogus new features such as the MentalPlex which would read a user's mind to determine what he wanted to search for. It has also posted job listings for its planned research center on the moon, and unveiled the Google Gulp, a new drink that would work in conjunction with Google searches, activating the brain's neurotransmitters to make the user/drinker more intelligent.

7. Famous Pranks: Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine traditionally includes one bogus story in its April issue. Recent years the EGM staff has fooled their readers into believing that Apple would release a handheld gaming system, that secret levels could be unlocked in games by playing them many times at the hardest setting, and that outrageous games (such as a Lord of the Rings kart racing title) would soon be released.

8. Famous Pranks: NPR has traditionally included a bogus feature story in its April 1 newscasts. One recent notable feature described Starbucks' plans to build coffee pipelines to each of its locations to deliver fresh coffee on tap.

9. Famous Pranks: BMW places ads with creatively ficticious messages in British newspapers each year. Recent ads have claimed BMW vehicles would soon be equiped with horns that made calming rather than irritating noises in an effort to decrease road rage, and that MINI cars would be included in upcoming missions to Mars.

10. Famous Pranks: The Cartoon Network has pulled pranks on its viewers by replacing favorite shows on April 1 with cheesy blasts from the past like Mr. T's animated show from the '80s and Karate Kommandos starring Chuck Norris. They have also added fart sounds in shows like Fullmetal Alchemist and Ghost in the Shell, and drawn mustaches on characters in several others.

Sources: Wikipedia,


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