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Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

22nd March 2012

Known as April's fish in France, the 1st of April is traditionally a celebration of silliness. Want to grow your own spaghetti tree? Find out about the famous prank the BBC played on Panorama viewers in 1957.

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

22nd March 2012

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

22nd March 2012

No one is quite certain of the origins of the day we now call April Fools Day, or All Fools Day, but everyone knows it is a day for silliness and fun! We started celebrating it in the UK in the 1700s and since then have enjoyed millions of pranks. But remember, the rule of April Fools is that all jokes have to be performed before midday, else the joke is on you!

There are other April Fool’s traditions around the world. For instance, in Iran, people play jokes on each other on April 3rd, the 13th day of the Persian New Year. In France, the 1st April is known as Poisson d’avril which translates as “April’s fish”. The aim is to try and stick a paper fish onto someone’s back without being caught out. You could try this yourself with different creatures for different people! One of the most famous April Fools jokes was played by the BBC. On 1st April 1957, the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best”. To read about more famous pranks, go to http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

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