Every year on the first day of April it is customary to prank friends and relatives. But what are the origins and the meaning of this tradition? Let’s read some curiosities about this day and choose some funny joke for the April fools with children
The origins of this amusing tradition, which has been handed down almost all over the world for centuries, are rather uncertain. The most credible version traces the beginning of this joking “celebration” to the early years of Catholicism, when the Church abolished the old pagan tradition that considered April 1 as the first day of the year. The pagans continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st and for this reason they were derided.
It seems that in France this custom of considering April 1 as New Year’s Day remained until 1564, when King Charles IX abolished it. But the pranksters decided to celebrate New Year’s Eve twice: on January 1, but also on April 1st, in a joking way, exchanging funny and worthless gifts.
Also in this case, more than a certain theory, there are only hypotheses. The first says that one of the first jokes made on this date was to the detriment of some fishermen: pranksters threw lots of smoked herring into the river shouting: “Here are the fish!” That’s why one of the most popular jokes is to hang a piece of paper with a fish design on someone’s back. A second theory traces the definition back to Cleopatra’s time. One day Marco Antonio invited Cleopatra to fish on the banks of the Nile; the queen decided to play a joke on him and instead of showing up for the appointment, she made him find a fake crocodile made of skins.
The first sensational and, above all, documented joke, in Italy it happened in 1878. The Gazzetta d’Italia announced that on April 1st the Florentines could attend the cremation of an Indian mahrajà in the Cascine park. But on the foreseen day from a bush suddenly came out, instead of the hearse with the body of the Indian to be cremated, a group of boys who shouted “Fried Arno fish!”.
A successful joke that became famous was the one created by the American actor Orson Welles: he planned a radio program that was supposed to air on April 1, 1938, but due to technical problems it was broadcast on October 30. It was called “The War of the Worlds” and was a commentary on the landing of the Martians (false, of course). The Americans were panicked: many fled their homes and when, the next day, the joke was revealed, there were damages for a few million dollars. When, a few years later, the attack on Pearl Harbor was announced, the population, mindful of Welles’s joke, initially did not believe the words of the speaker.
On April 1st, any joke is legitimate, even for authoritative newspapers and television stations. The BBC in 1957 organized the joke nicknamed “Swiss Spaghetti Harvest”. Richard Dimbleby, a highly respected speaker, broke the news of an exceptional crop of spaghetti in southern Switzerland and discussed the details of the spaghetti harvest as pictures of a Swiss family were shown pulling pasta from spaghetti trees and placing it in baskets. As soon as the broadcast ended, the BBC began receiving hundreds of calls from viewers who wanted to know how to make spaghetti in trees.
Less famous, but very amusing were also the April fishes of other newspapers, such as those of Monaco which in 1955 gave the news that an oil field had been discovered in the underground city. And in 1962 Radio Moscow announced that an agreement had been reached for total disarmament and that all the missiles had been thrown into a lake. Or finally the radio in Paris in 1971 announced that the EEC had established left-hand drive in all member countries.
Children, you know, love to be surprised, play tricks, maybe they love being a little less victim. In any case, on April 1st we unleash the imagination and we go back too small and we try to organize funny tricks for everyone.
Jokes for relatives
- if it rains, put a handful of sugared almonds in someone’s closed umbrella, then wait for it to come out and open it …
- move all the hands of the house clocks backwards or forwards by one hour …
- put the salt in the sugar bowl and the sugar in the salt bowl …
- stick a dozen corks in someone’s bed …
Jokes for children
- attach lots of eyes to all the food products in the fridge, like this mom did
- prepare some lollipops: the children will be delighted, but when they unwrap them they will discover that they have been made with broccoli and other healthy vegetables
- while they sleep, they switch their beds and put the little brother in the little sister’s bed and vice versa
Jokes for school friends
- put a piece of paper with a euro drawn in the book of companions and make sure that the fake banknote pops out of a page
- offer salty candies, but don’t overdo it!
- use a fake lizard or a soft plastic spider to scare your mates