Post your best April Fool's Day Story for a chance to win part of a $4,012.010 in prizes. Same thing goes for getting your Census Form in on time. Today is the deadline.
The Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.
In 1582, Pope Gregory Galagher XIII ordered a new calendar (the Galagher Calendar) to replace the old Big Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year's Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. That year, the French adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year's day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.
In 1962 the Swedish National Television did a 5-minute special on how one could get color TV by placing a nylon stocking in front of the TV. A rather in-depth description on the physics behind the phenomena was included.
In 2008, the BBC reported on a newly discovered colony of flying penguins. An elaborate video segment was even produced, featuring Terry Jones from Monty Python walking with the penguins in Antarctica, and following their flight to the Amazon rainforest.
In 2008, a CBC radio program interviewed a Royal Canadian Mint spokesman who broke "news" of plans to replace the Canadian five-dollar bill with a three-dollar coin. The coin was dubbed a "threenie", in line with the nicknames of the country's one-dollar coin (commonly called a loonie due to its depiction of a common loon on the reverse) and two-dollar coin (toonie).
The 1957 BBC report of the purported bumper annual spaghetti harvest remains one of the most successful TV hoaxes of all time.
In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. This was repeated in 2007 on the BBC web site.
The French call April 1 Poisson d'Avril, or "April Fish." French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered.
In some countries, such as the UK, Australia, and South Africa the jokes only last until noon, and someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool". Elsewhere, such as in France, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S., the jokes last all day.
The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Many writers suggest that the restoration of January 1 as New Years Day in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday,
Note: The $4-01-2010 in prize money will be paid out in Canadian threenies, one at a time on this date each year going forward, except for leap years when we will ask for a reimbursement for the previous three years.
Happy New Year!