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April Fool's Day is celebrated on 1 April in many countries around the world. On this day, people play practical jokes on each other and have fun trying to make other people believe things that are not true. Traditionally, you should only play jokes and tricks until midday – after this time it is considered bad luck.
Tricks to play on your family and friends
In the UK and many other places, people play practical jokes on each other. Just remember that nobody likes to be embarrassed or made fun of – the jokes should be funny for everybody. Here are some easy tricks you could try on your family and friends.
- The jelly juice joke
Put some fruit jelly in a glass and ask someone if they'd like some juice. When they try to drink it, say 'April Fool!'
- The remote control trick
Make your family think the remote control is broken by putting a small sticker over the sensor. After they fail to turn on the TV, take off the sticker and turn the TV on and say 'April Fool!'
- The spider joke
Do you know someone who's scared of spiders? Get a plastic spider and put it in their shoe! If you haven't got a plastic spider, you could find a picture online and print out lots of copies and put them around the house!
- The mouse under the fridge trick
Get a piece of string or an old shoelace and put it under the fridge. Leave a bit of the string sticking out. Then take a picture of the 'mouse' under the fridge, send it to the other members of your family and say something like, 'Help! It's moving! It's alive!' When they come running to the kitchen, shout 'April Fool!'
April Fool's Day around the world
In France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and French-speaking areas of Canada and Switzerland, the 1 April tradition is known as the 'April Fish'. A common joke is to try to stick a paper fish onto someone's back without them noticing.
In many Spanish-speaking countries as well as the Philippines, there is also a special day for playing jokes, but it is in December instead of April.
April Fool's Day in the news, on TV and online
For many years, TV programmes and newspapers have been playing tricks on people on 1 April, and now these jokes often happen online.
One of the earliest examples was in 1957 when the BBC, the UK's national TV channel, broadcast a report on how spaghetti grew on trees. The film showed a family in Switzerland collecting spaghetti from trees, and many people were fooled into believing it, as in the 1950s British people didn't eat much pasta and many didn't know how it was made!
In 1998, the American hamburger chain Burger King announced that it had created a left-handed hamburger. The advert said that the burger was more comfortable for left-handed people to pick up and eat! Thousands of customers ordered the new burger in restaurants.
In 2016, Duolingo, the language learning app, advertised special pillows that allowed you to become fluent in Spanish, French, Italian or Japanese in your sleep!
Of course, every day we need to think carefully about what we believe when we read or watch news and other stories, especially online. But on 1 April, be extra careful! Happy April Fool's Day!
Do you have April Fool's Day in your country or another day for jokes and tricks?