April Fool’s Day is here, but how did it all start and how can you take part in the fun?
Traditionally on 1 April, this day is much loved by pranksters and jokers all around the word. Despite its popularity, there isn’t a consensus on when it started, or how. What we do know is that it’s been around for many centuries and is observed by people from a wide variety of cultures.
On April Fool’s Day, people have carte blanche to play tricks and jokes on their unsuspecting friends and family. Generally, it followed that any pranks must be carried out before midday. After the person has fallen for the joke, the person playing it will usually shout “APRIL FOOL’S!” to indicate that it was all a ruse. But it’s not just people that take part, often companies, businesses, and media outlets will get in on the fun as well.
Some have speculated that April Fool’s started in 1582 when France changed its calendar to the Gregorian from the Julian. This new calendar placed the spring equinox on 1 April and those who forgot about the switch or didn’t accept the new year had moved to this date, were often called ‘April fools. Jokes were played on them such as having cut-out paper fish stuck to their backs. But not everyone agrees, and some think it goes back as far as the Roman festival of Hilaria which was celebrated at the end of March. Romans would get dressed up in disguise and tease each other.
Either way, by the 18th Century, April Fool’s Day was widely celebrated in the UK including Scotland where it became a two-day holiday!
Over the years, there have been some spectacular pranks played on members of the public. For example, in 1957 the BBC show “Panorama” aired a story about Swiss farms that grew spaghetti and detailed how good the harvest had been. They showed footage of spaghetti ‘growing’ and detailed the impact the mild weather had, as well as how farmers had fought off the spaghetti weevil.
Then in 2015, toilet paper brand Cottonelle tweeted that it was launching a new range of toilet paper for left-handed customers. They claimed it would clean just like right-handed toilet paper but was made especially for lefties. Another left-handed prank was played in 1998 when Burger King launched its special left-handed Whopper burger!
The British are well known for their dry sense of humour and in 1980, the BBC (again) broke the news that the famous Big Ben clock in the centre of London would become digital. The news didn’t go down well, and people didn’t find it very funny. As a result, the BBC was forced to apologise.
There are plenty of ways you can enjoy April Fool’s Day. Firstly, you can engineer some of your own pranks for co-workers and friends, or you can simply peruse media and social media to find some of the jokes created by brands and media outlets.
There are also several April Fool’s Day slots you can play as well as additional bonuses and free spins. April-themed slot Chocolate Cashpots features easter eggs and springtime, while, if you subscribe to the theory of the Roman origins, the Centurion slot could be the one for you. There are also plenty of games that feature the green meadows and bright sunshine of spring, including Rainbow Riches, Irish Frenzy, and Fluffy Favourites.