How Did April 1 Become "April Fools' Day"?
People around the world, and especially in Europe, celebrate April 1 by playing practical jokes. But how does this day gain this meaning?
There are many explanations about the origin of this tradition.
The version that wants April Fools to come from Medieval France, is supported by most historians. Until 1564, the French New Year was celebrated on "April 1st". However, under the reign of Charles the 9th, it was decided the transfer of New Year's Day celebration to January 1st. At first, not all citizens accepted it. The reactionaries continued to celebrate their old New Year's Day on April 1, while others sent New Year's gifts to make fun of them. This joke has in time become a tradition and has been called the “April fish”.
Job Trust team made a research to present you with some of the most successful pranks:
- In 1980, BBC announced that Big Ben would be turned into a digital clock in order to inform us with accuracy about the time. Also, they announced that the government would set on sale the clock pointers to the first four viewers which would call. The station’s phones were blown up!
- In 1982, Greece's state-controlled National Radio Network announced a warning that pollution had reached emergency levels in downtown Athens and that the city would have to be immediately evacuated. All schools were called upon to close, and the children to be sent home. Within three hours the Radio Network retracted the warning, revealing it to be a joke, but by then the damage had been done.
- In 1998, Marc Boslough published in a scientific magazine that the mathematical constant 3,1415 would be turned into 3 according to the bible’s symbols.
- In 2011, Google announced the introduction of Gmail Motion. This new technology would allow people to write emails using only hand gestures. Gmail Motion, the company explained, used a computer's webcam and a "spatial tracking algorithm" to track a person's gestures and translate them into words and commands. For instance, a person could 'open a message' by making a motion with their hands as if opening an envelope.
- Ιn 2014, Google made a successful prank with publishing a Pokemon game where players could catch and look for pokemons on google maps. The players, who would catch Pikachu, would become Google’s Pokemon master.