The Day of Pranking


Billy B, News Reporter

If you’re like most people, you probably have played a prank on the silliest day of the year: April Fools Day! April Fools, also known as All Fools Day, is on April 1st. It is a day when many people make jokes or play pranks. Not only people play pranks though. Celebrities and big companies make practical jokes on Twitter and YouTube. The history of April Fools Day dates back to even farther than you may think.

Some historians believe that celebration of April Fools Day dates back to 1563 when France switched to the Gregorian Calendar, our current calendar, from the Julian Calendar. During the use of the Julian Calendar, European countries celebrated the beginning of the year on a different day, March 25. This change wasn’t noticed by some people, so they still celebrated the beginning of the year on March 25 until the end of April instead of January 1. Pranks were played on these people, because everyone thought it was funny that they didn’t realize the calendar change. One prank was to attach a paper fish to someone’s back to symbolize an easily caught fish. Being easily caught was meant to represent being a gullible person. The prank also included the victim being called a “poisson d’avril” or “April Fish”. There is also a speculation that April Fools was based on the vernal equinox(first day of Spring), where Mother Nature would fool people with unpredictable weather. April Fools activities spread through Britain after the event in France. In Scotland it was celebrated for two days. The first day being called “hunting the gowk” where people were sent on fake errands. Gowk is the word for a cuckoo bird, a symbol for a fool. This day was followed by Tailie Day, where things were placed on peoples’ bottoms, such as pinning fake tails or a “kick me” sign to them.

On April 1, businesses make funny Tweets or videos, such as Razer, a computer company. They make a funny video every year that shows something they are “working” on. Of course, all of the videos are fake. For example, one video showed that they were making a levitating computer mouse. The people were just holding the mouse in the air and pretending to use it. In 1957 on this funny day, BBC News reported that farmers in Switzerland had found a spaghetti crop. Footage was shown that depicted people harvesting noodles out of trees. Sports Illustrated tricked many others in 1985 with an article in their magazine about a baseball rookie player names Sidd Finch who’s fastball was over 168 miles per hour. Taco Bell fooled fans of the famous fast food establishment when they had announced they were buying the Philadelphia Liberty Bell and was going to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. One other company that pranked all of their customers was Burger King. They advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper” and had many consumers come to buy the phony burger, when it did not really exist. A celebrity prank that happened in 2019 on April Fools Day was Tom Brady’s first tweet. His first tweet consisted of stating that he was retiring. Sport fans went crazy, until they realized what day it was. Another prank from this year was from a technology company, Nvidia. They announced an A.I. or Artificial Intelligence that monitored your video games and would tell you what strategies helped you win the most. It was all just CGI, but was very easy to tell it was fake.

A lot of regular people do pranks on their friends or family. A common one is the whoopie cushion, a balloon-like cushion that can be bought in most stores. The steps consist of blowing it up with air and sitting it on a chair for an unsuspecting victim to sit on. When someone sits on it the air is released through the opening, creating a sound similar to a fart. Another one that is used a lot is putting cup of water on a partially open door. When someone opens the door the water will splash on them. Something that can lower the chances of getting hurt is taping the cup to the door so that when it falls it pours the water out, but the cup stays on the door.

As can see, the celebration of this amusing day goes back hundreds of years back to the 16th century. From a very simple accident it spread like a disease throughout Europe, and when America was founded, came here. Celebrities and major businesses like fast food chains and tech companies make jokes that millions of fans will see. If a prank is played right, it can be very believable. Most people have played a few gags on friends or family. This special day makes many fans of April Fools Day rushing to think of the best prank of the year.