Is there a special day for jokes and tricks in your country? Do you like playing tricks on people? If you’re ever in the UK on 1 April, you’d better watch out!

When and what is April Fool’s Day?

April Fool’s Day is on 1 April. It’s the custom in the UK to play a trick or a joke on someone on this day. If the person falls for the joke, then they are called an ‘April Fool’. In fact, it’s only half a day because April Fool’s Day finishes at midday. No more jokes after lunchtime, please!

What kind of tricks do people play?

Here are some April Fool’s tricks from around the world:

  • In the 1990s Burger King published an advert in the magazine USA Today offering new ‘Left-handed Whoppers’ (hamburgers) for the 32 million left-handed Americans! Thousands of customers ordered the new burger in the restaurants.
  • A zoo in Japan said that they had a giant penguin that was 165cm tall and weighed 80kg! In fact, it was a man dressed up in a penguin suit.
  • One year in the UK a children’s news programme said that scientists had invented a ‘Brain Band’. It was a coloured head band that you put on your head and it helped to make you more intelligent! In an on-line poll, 47 per cent of the children who heard the news wanted to buy a ‘brain band’!
  • In 1949 a radio presenter in New Zealand told listeners that there were millions of wasps coming to invade. He told viewers to wear their socks over their trousers and to put honey on their doors. Millions of listeners believed him!
  • In 1976 a very famous British astronomer told radio listeners that at 9.47 a.m. the earth was going to experience a feeling of less gravity. He said that Jupiter and Pluto would cross and if listeners jumped in the air at exactly 9.47 a.m. they would feel the sensation of having no gravity! Hundreds of listeners phoned the radio to say they had jumped and floated in the air!
  • Ikea announced that the shop had launched a dog highchair (highchairs are usually for babies!) named 'HUNDSTOL' (Swedish for dog chair). Google ‘IKEA dog high chair’ for more details.
  • The free London newspaper, Metro, came up with a novel idea to deal with the problem of litter on the underground (unfortunately it was only a joke). They said that the newspaper was now edible – ‘the only paper that you can eat after reading’.
  • A British newspaper announced that Portugal had ‘sold’ Cristiano Ronaldo, the footballer, to Spain for €160 million. Why? To try to clear its national debt. It was a joke, of course.

Do people actually like April Fool’s Day?

We asked some Brits this question. This is what they said:

I love April Fool’s Day. It can be really good fun. I love playing tricks on people and I don’t mind if people play tricks on me. It’s one day of the year you can be really silly and have a laugh and it’s OK. You have to be quite sensible for the other 364 days of the year, so I look forward to 1 April.
Malisa

I don’t like April Fool’s Day. It makes me a bit nervous. I keep thinking someone is about to play a trick on me. When 12 o’clock passes I feel quite relieved that it’s finished for another year!
Johnny

When I was at school, April Fool’s Day was always good fun. We played tricks on each other and sometimes on the teacher. In fact, one year one of the boys at school put a bucket of water on top of the door and when the chemistry teacher came in, he got very wet! It was funny, but the boy got in big trouble!
Phil

April Fool’s Day is a great idea. It’s easy to forget the actual date and I always believe everything I read in the newspapers or watch on the TV news. I usually believe the big national hoaxes and it always makes me laugh afterwards. It’s good to remind us that maybe we shouldn’t always believe everything we hear in the news.
Louise

April Fool’s Day is fun when you’re young. I remember putting a plastic fried egg on my dad’s plate for breakfast as a trick. He decided to cut it up and pretend to eat it! Now I think some of the tricks are a bit silly and people can be a bit cruel playing tricks on their ‘friends’!
Clare

I hate April Fool’s Day. Last year people at work changed the sugar for salt so we all put salt in our coffee! Then some joker in the office decided he wanted a day off and he did something to the computers so they wouldn’t work. It just wasn’t funny! I had lots to do and we all had to stop working and solve the problem.
Mark

So watch out this year on 1 April!

Discussion

Do you have a day that is similar to April Fool's Day in your country? Tell us about it here.

Comments

eliesbll's picture
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eliesbll 4 April, 2013 - 09:55

In catalonia we celebrate a similar day
In december 27th we celebrate the Innocent Saints Day
A lot of people do the special "llufa" (it's a funny silouhette)
I always do the llufa

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empiike 4 April, 2013 - 09:55

hi my frends, in catalonia we do a little similar tradition it's calls inocents day.
we do similar tricks and jokes, in the tv always apears a false noticie, i love this day because i do a lot of tricks but if a frend play me a trick i'm a bit angry.
a very traditional trick was a paper pupet, the pepole put the paper pupet on the back.
it celebrates in 28th of december

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Alishka's picture
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Alishka 1 April, 2013 - 15:36

I love Fool's day and I also like playing tricks on my classmates and it is so funny. My best friend Ann said that today we were having a Test. I was shocked as I had not got ready for it. A minute later it turned out to be only a joke. I was the happiest girl in the world!
But there are some fools who can't play jokes. They are mean and their jokes are mean! But I wouldn't like to talk about them on such a funny day.

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 31 March, 2013 - 19:44

I don't have any jokes planned, I don't like this day, but my friends at school certainly have and they will joke with me on Monday. Not looking forward to Monday at all;).

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ellen 30 March, 2013 - 16:25

Hello Natasha Li. İ agree üith you. Taiwan it is very nice country.
Have you been to Azerbaijan?
Please

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MALINE 28 March, 2013 - 16:17

yes on december 28 but we call it "dia de los inocentes" and you know you mustn´t lend any money becuase you´ll never see it again. I like this day very much you can play little jokes and it goes all day!

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merlin 28 March, 2013 - 12:53

Yes here in albania we celebrate 1 april day every year mostly by the young generation .Here we call it lies day and wich of us say lies to each others for example last year i was driving a bicycle when in front of me it was someone i now. I said to her hi and she said to me your bicycle tiers has fallen and i turned my head back to see and I started to laugh because then i understand it was a lie .

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sd.ss 28 March, 2013 - 07:12

I don't like April fool day but my all days like an April's fool day because I always do foolish and silly tricks with my friends and family lols

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ellen's picture
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ellen 23 March, 2013 - 16:49

Hi tretre. Yes it is a good day.
April Fool's Day is when my friends and I have tons of fun!
it is a beautiful day.I am very enjoying this day.It is not true?

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pixie22 12 March, 2013 - 09:09

April Fool's Day is when my friends and I have tons of fun! We play jokes on each other and then laugh about them all day! :)

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Bora F's picture
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Bora F 9 March, 2013 - 21:27

and for us 1 april is the day of the lies...1 april is very beautiful day i like it very much..

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 8 March, 2013 - 13:02

In my country,Bulgaria, we celebrate April 1 every year. I don't like that day, but my friends do, and they like making jokes, but I don't take part in jokes. It is uninteresting for me. Maybe I am to serious;).

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madam boss 10 November, 2012 - 10:07

yeah we play fools day in our country
at school a student can come and tell you are wanted at the admin,,,

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Selvi209711's picture
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Selvi209711 31 July, 2012 - 14:04

I always be a victim on April Fool's day. They are so easy to play trick on me. So I don't like April Fool's Day.

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lady96 17 July, 2012 - 13:09

In Kazakhstan we also celebrate April Fool's Day. My friends LOVE this holiday. They always play tricks on me! Once, they asked me to go to the park, so we can meet and go for a walk together. But when I came to the park, nobody was there! I decided to wait, and then half an hour later, I saw somebody hiding in the bushes... When I looked closer, I found all my friends there!!! They were all sitting in the bushes and laughing at me! Later they told me that while I was waiting for them I looked really stupid! But I wasn't offended, because, firstly: they are my friends, and secondly: this is what April Fool's Day is all about! Am I right? :)

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