10 Things you probably didn’t know about April Fools’ Day

It’s April Fools’ Day!

A part from the practical jokes and clever pranks pulled on the day, what do you actually know about the day celebrated on April 1 every year?

Today BUZZ is sharing with you ten facts about April Fools’ Day.

1. The origins of the April Fools’ Day customs are unknown with conflicting theories about how the tradition actually got started.

Aleutian Island

2. Given the tradition of April Fools’ pranks, news about the Aleutian Island earthquake’s tsunami that killed 165 people in Hawaii and Alaska was mistaken as a hoax, as it occurred on April 1, 1946.

3. According to the most widely-believed theory postulated about April Fools’ Day, the day stems from a calendar change, which moved celebrations for the beginning of the new year from April to January. Those who could be tricked into believing April 1 was still the proper day to celebrate the New Year were referred to as ‘April Fools’.

4.   April Fools’ Day is a public holiday in Odessa, Ukraine.

5.  Due to the Caribbean’s colonial past, historians theorize that April Fools’ Day spread throughout the British Empire during the 18th Century.

6.   In Jamaica, April Fools’ Day was previously called Tom Fool Day and individuals would attempt to fool others prior to 12 noon. After that time the tradition states that the joke would be on the person attempting the prank.

7.  The ancient Romans had a holiday called Hilaria, which was very similar to April Fools’ Day!

Photograph of a woman harvesting spaghetti in the BBC programme.

8.  In the 1950s, the BBC ran an April Fools’ story hoax purporting to show the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. After the airing of the fake story, the newsroom was flooded with calls from people wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. In 2010, CNN called the BBC’s 1950 Spaghetti trees hoax the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled.

9.   In Scotland April Fools’ Day is recognised as two days instead of just one.

10. While known for its elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes, Google actually launched its email service, Gmail, on April 1, 2004.