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April fool's day!

April fool’s day is when people play practical jokes on each other however traditions are not the same everywhere.

In France, it’s known as “poisson d’avril!” (April fish) and strangely enough, it involves a fish! Children try to discretely stick a picture of a fish on the back of someone and then other children go round calling them a “poisson d’avril”!

In England, sticking a coin on the ground or telling people that their shoelaces are undone are popular.

I remember my step-father putting cling film on the toilet once, and then another time he told my daughter that there was a kitten in the garage and gave her a saucer of milk – needless to say she never found the kitten!

In Scotland it is called Gowkie day, and unsuspecting victims are sent off on wild goose

chases looking for the Gowkie!

Newspapers and television programmes also have fun trying to make people believe incredible stories! Sometimes they are believed, sometimes not!

One of the most famous in the UK was in 1957 when the BBC reported on a bumper crop of spaghetti in a town in Switzerland near the Italian border. They even filmed people picking

the spaghetti from trees and bushes at the farms and then eating it for dinner. There was quite a lot of interest from viewers wanting to know where they could buy a spaghetti tree.

Another well known hoax was on the TV when a famous naturalist reported on a newcomer at London Zoo. It was a “lirpa loof” from the Himalayas who had fluorescent purple poo and was an amazing mimic.

Sometimes hard to believe stories come out on the 1st April, but are in fact true. For example the story about the Queen having her own personal box of chocolates that no one else can touch,

and black bears in the USA that have caught a virus that is making them friendlier towards humans!

Apparently last year the police in Thailand warned that if people posted or shared fake news online they could be punished by up to five years imprisonment. I bet there weren’t a lot of April fool hoaxes in Thailand in 2021!


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