April Fool’s Day has been around for hundreds of years and perpetrated by many cultures, but its exact origins are unclear.
A controversial claim is that it is by Geoffrey Chaucer Canterbury Talesappeared 1400.
In the nun-priest story portion of the book, a poet describes how a fox tricked the vain rooster Chauntecleer 32 days from the beginning of March, which coincided with April 1st.
However, historians have determined that this is a copying error of the handwritten text. Chaucer is referring to the constellation Taurus – only visible in the sky in May.
Another theory holds that it dates from the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 across continental Europe. Pope Gregory XIII called for celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1 instead of late March.
Some missed direction and celebrated April Fools’ Day, leading to poking fun at her. However, this is also controversial, especially in Great Britain, where the calendar was not introduced until 1752.
Others have linked it to the ancient Roman festival of Hilaria, when people would dress up and make fun of each other at the end of March.
Regardless of its origins, the day has led to some famous – and infamous – pranks in more recent times.
Shannon Airport is to be renamed
In 2014, local radio station Clare FM ran a story that Shannon Airport was to be renamed in honor of All-Ireland winner Davy Fitzgerald.
The piece referenced the success of renaming Liverpool Airport after Beatle John Lennon, while the airport’s CEO also wished people a Happy April 1st.
Volkswagen’s name change backfires
In a recent example, the German automaker issued a press release this week announcing that it would be changing its name to “Voltswagen” in the US.
This is, the company said, to highlight its efforts in making electric cars.
“We know 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen,” it said in a tweet.
But the company then had to admit that this was an April Fool’s joke that leaked too soon.
Big Ben goes digital
On April 1, 1980, the BBC reported that the legendary London clock would be digitized and its hands given away to the first four callers to the station.
The report prompted a notable reaction from angry listeners as well as some who called in hoping to win a hand.
“Surprisingly, few people found it funny,” reported Tony Lightley of the BBC’s foreign service.
Burger King’s left-handed burger
In 1998, the fast-food chain paid for advertising space in the US to promote its new product, a left-handed burger. Thousands of people were reported to be visiting restaurants asking for the burger, while some requested a right-hand version.
Joe Duffy hits fool’s gold
As early as the 1990s, broadcaster Joe Duffy broke the news on April 1 that Croatia had withdrawn from the 1996 European Football Championship.
This would make way for Big Jack Charlton’s Ireland to enter. Hundreds who flooded the FAI with ticket requests didn’t see the funny side.
https://www.independent.ie/life/from-big-ben-going-digital-to-shannon-airport-being-renamed-the-best-of-april-fools-40263274.html April Fool’s Day 2022: From the digitization of Big Ben to the renaming of Shannon Airport, the best of April Fool’s Day