So the time flies and here we are at the end of March. And next is the festive season. But before stepping into the New Year shoes, all of us have to get into the jesters boots or even the fool’s boots.
First of April is coming right ahead. And without giving the simplest hint of it, all of us are rolling up the tricks into our sleeves, getting ready for that day of the year. We have celebrated April Fools’ Day, perhaps since the time can remember up until now, and most probably the practice will go on to the end of times.
But how many of us actually know where it began?
Back in the early days a calendar called the Julian Calendar was in effect throughout Europe. The year began in April with the break of spring and ran along with the four seasons. And in 1582 the Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar called the Gregorian Calendar which celebrated the dawn of a new year on first of January and it was soon in effect in many regions. But old habits die hard. While those who accepted the new calendar cheered for the year ahead on January, the rest continued with the April festivities. And so the modernists fooled and made fun of the traditionalists, convincing them of lies and sending them on fools’ errands. This is said to have grown into a tradition and thus spread out all through the civilizations.
Another idea gives a generalized explanation. Many cultures consider the end of March or the beginning of April as the start of a new year. And also the rays of sun bringing back the heat with the spring after weeks of frustrating winter’s cold is something to celebrate. These fiestas often call for merriment, laughter, jests and jeers. And so these days of foolishness and light-heartedness is believed to have turned into the modern practice.
However it may have originated, the first of April is something we all look forward to, mostly with our guards up. The tricks, apparently, do not come only by the neighbor, but it is known word wide that April Fools’ Day pranks are done by public media as well as consumer product sellers. From surprising news items to unbelievably eye catchy advertisements, the media history is full of fools’ day pranks.
In 1988 the Soviet newspaper Izvestia reported that the legendary Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona was to join Soviet Soccer Team. In 2000 the Daily Mail published an article about a new line of socks designed to help people lose weight by sucking body fat out of sweating feet. News items about the world renowned Big Ben tower getting a digital face as well as televisions with a new technology to deliver smells along with the picture and sounds are all times remembered media pranks.
Most recently advertisements followed up the practice in innovative ways. Marmite advertised their new brand “Marmite Clear”, an invisible breakfast spread. Burger King Japan introduced a perfume label, ‘Flame Grilled Fragrance’.
All of it are absolutely crazy but the laughter they bring is priceless.
No matter what, fooling someone is easy but the hard part is not being fooled. And the hardest part is not hurting anyone in the process. Nothing will be funny if the smile turns to a tear. But everything will be entertaining as long as the crowd roars with laughter.
So, get the clown suits out and ready yourself to bring back the giggles. Here are some April Fools’ Day pranks that you can try on your family and mates.
- Change the language for Google on someone’s computer.
- Switch the Push and Pull signs on a set of doors.
- Take something from someone’s office and leave them a ransom note.
- Hide all of the desktop icons on someone’s computer and replace the monitor’s wallpaper with a screen-shot of their desktop.
- Put a balloon on the tailpipe of someone’s car so it will pop when they start their car.
- Put plastic wrap around the door frame of a commonly used door.
- Leave cryptic notes warning someone of an impending prank then do nothing all day.
- Put a “Please Use Other Door” sign on the entrance to your office building if it only has one entrance.
- Add a layer of bubble wrap to items that will be stepped on, like under the door mat or even the soles of shoes.
- Probably the oldest of tricks, putting Vaseline on doorknobs continues to be an April Fools’ favorite.