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April Fools

Gérald Ghislain

Posted on April 25 2018

April Fools - Histoires de Parfums

Every year, April 1st brings our childish spirits back to life. The origins of this day dedicated to practical jokes and trickery remain uncertain, but many theories have been propositioned. It's up to you to choose the one you prefer!

The most renown theory dates back to 1564, when April Fools was first celebrated. Charles IX, France's king at the time, changes the calendar (see January 1st article here), moving New Year's from April 1st to January 1st. However this decree was not instantaneously adopted everywhere. For many years following, people continued to exchange gifts and celebrate New Year's on April 1st.

Those who had adopted January 1st as the start of the New Year began gifting fake presents to those celebrating on April 1st with the intention of mocking them and inducing deception.

Another theory: April Fools falls at the end of Lent, the period during which Christians cannot eat meat, and thus makes fish a staple in their diet. Or even, the ban on fishing in April, because that is their breeding season, left fishermen in a forced idleness. Passerby would then gift fake fish to the fisherman as a joke. 

April Fools is a tradition that has made its way around the world, with many countries now celebrating it every year. Here are some of the top April Fools jokes of the past decade:

April 1st 1957: BBC does a report on Italian farmers harvesting spaghetti trees

April 1st 1986: Le Parisien announces that the Eiffel Tower will be relocated to Marne-la-Vallée near Disney Land.

April 1st 1992: A comedian impersonates Richard Nixon's voice on NPR to announce that he will be returning for next year's presidential election stating: "I have never done anything bad, and most certainly never will."

April 1st 1993: The Independent announces that they have discovered the village ruins of Astérix, at the same location indicated in the comic.

April 1st 2017: Google announces the launch of "Google Cheese Master" in France, a device that can recognize all types of cheeses and even tell you which sheep's milk it was made from.

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