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April Fools' Day

Posted on 19th March 2015
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April Fools Day Gags, Jokes, Jolly Japes and Pranks of all descriptions!April Fools’ Day

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As well as people playing pranks on one another on April Fools' Day, it’s a time when elaborate practical jokes appear on radio and TV stations, newspapers, web sites, and some of the best are quite often perpetrated by large corporations and companies seeking to raise their advertising profile. Perhaps one of the most famous of these was the, now legendary, BBC Panorama broadcast, way back in 1957 where they showed Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti, in what was called the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. So taken in was the public that the BBC had to declare the hoax the following day in-order to stop the flood of calls that they had been receiving from people wanting to buy a plant for themselves.  The more credible the source, the more likely people are to be fooled by the prank!
And today, with the global reach of the internet and 24 hour readily available global news services, April Fools’ pranks and set-ups can catch out and embarrass an even wider audience than ever before. So what are the origins of this annual day of leg-pulling?
Like all of the best celebrations, the origins are actually shrouded in the mists of history. What is known that it’s not just celebrated here in the UK and the custom of having known day in the calendar for playing harmless pranks and hoaxes on people is widely recognised. Although most believe that the benefits of good humour and laughter are beneficial, there are those who tend to the school of thought that it can sometimes become a nasty process with people laughing at others rather than laughing with them. It’s a good point, but there really is no excuse for this too happen and it’s probably the result of laziness in creating the hoax in the first place.
Bag of Flies from Karnival Costumes - Great April Fool's Gag
What is certain is that it’s a day when hoaxes can be taken seriously and equally it’s a day when serious announcements and news stories can be taken as being hoaxes just because of the date!  Who hasn’t listened to the news on April 1st and not thought that something they’ve heard was a joke. Okay, thinking about it, that statement probably holds true every time you listen to the news….
There is a supposed reference to April Fools’ Day in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales while some link the “Fool” tag to those who celebrated January 1st as the first day of the New Year rather than celebrating the week long feasts for the New Year which commenced at the end of March and ended on April 1st. Others, in a similar vain, tag it to Pope Gregory XIII who was responsible for reinstating January 1 as New Year’s Day. Where ever the term is derived from it’s a day set aside for laughter and making fun in many parts of the world as well as throughout history.  As far back as the Romans, who celebrated the festival Hilaria in late March, a day of public rejoicing (and sacrifice).
Spring Loaded Surprise Joke Mustard Jar from Karnival Costumes
Around our European cousins, the practice of hoaxing and japery is common with the Italians, Belgians and French speaking areas, taking particular joy in trying to pin paper fish on their victim’s back and when successful they raise the cry “April Fish” however that translates to them, all right for completeness of education only that’s poissons d'avril in French and pesce d'aprile in Italian.  This is similar and certainly less painful that the popular craze of attempting to pin a ‘Kick Me’ sign on the victim’s back with the cry of “April Fool” which was all the rage in schools until Health and Safety rules took over.
Around the world April Fools’ Day or All Fool’s Day is an occasion to let mischief loose and play practical tricks and jokes on others. In olden times it was usually a hoax or trick played on a single victim and it was all a local event, however since the communication revolution, the butt of a single joke  has increased dramatically from a single individual through entire television audiences and now globally with super-fast internet and social media, where Google and Apple have taken over the mantle from the BBC who held the crown magnificently with their Spaghetti Harvest spoof. Although they have tried to repeat the feat, with an experiment allowing the broadcast of aromas over airwaves – and yes, people did actually believe that the experiment was a success, it was only really matched in 1976 when the stalwart of the science Joke Parking Tickets from Karnival Costumescommunity, Sir Patrick Moore got involved. Eminently believable, the world famous British astronomer announced on BBC Radio that due to an ultra-rare planetary alignment humans could experience the effects of a diminished gravitational pull at precisely 9:47 a.m. on April 1. All they had to do was jump in the air and enjoy a ‘strange floating sensation. What followed was mass gullibility, with hundreds of calls regarding experiences of levity. 
Although you’ll have to go some to equal any of the most famous pranks, there’s plenty of scope for taking April Fool’s Day back to a more local level and enjoying the process of trying to catch family and friends out with a prank and the shout “April Fool”, though don’t forget, if your jolly jape is only successful AFTER midday, then you become the April Fool! So put your best pranking foot forward grab something from our collection of jokes and novelties, perhaps a pack of Joke Scratch Cards or for the motorist, how about a Fake Parking Ticket? Or for those planning to prank people throughout the day, how about our Exploding Nut Tin or Mustard Jar for a spring loaded surprise? In fact at Karnival Costumes we’ve a ton of jokes, gags and mischieve makers to help you joke, hoax and prank your way through the entire year!
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