Still innocent enough for April Fool’s hoaxes?

I’ll admit that when my alarm went off this morning, my first comatosed thought was “you have GOT to be kidding me”. Sadly, my clock has no sense of humour and I couldn’t count it as the first April Fool’s prank of the day.
Later on the tube however, I found myself wondering where this April Fool’s tradition came from.  (Was I a fool to not know this already??) A quick Wikipedia-Google search ensued and it turns out that whilst the exact origins are still obscure, it appears the tradition stems from the introduction of the Georgian calendar which saw the start of the New Year move from April to January. Those who refused to conform to the new calendar and continued the New Year celebrations in April were deemed fools and subjected to ridicule and practical jokes. And so the tradition evolved…

Well, you learn something every day.

Many hoaxes have been carried out by the media over the years – some better than others. Last year’s BBC broadcast of flying penguins was pretty rubbish if you ask me (would anyone really fall for that?) but the Swiss Spaghetti Tree newscast from the 50s remains an all-time favourite. Maybe it’s because I’m half Italian, but I love it – even more so, after reading the BBC’s diplomatic response to calls asking how to grow their own: “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

What I want to know is – since when are the Swiss known for their spaghetti?! Surely that was the dead giveaway…

For another taste of the 50s, check out our Book Club Choice this month which features a poignant memoir capturing the innocence of that era, and the cost of trying to keep that innocence…

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity Manager

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3 thoughts on “Still innocent enough for April Fool’s hoaxes?”

  1. I’d heard about the spaghetti tree joke before but not about the advice they gave for growing your own tree. You have to chuckle! Did anyone really give it a go?! Imagine all those boys’ and girls’ little faces when their spaghetti never sprouted green leaves. Poor things.

    My sister and I used to love playing tricks on our parents when we were little. Swapping the sugar and salt, hanging their keys from the highest branch we could climb to on the apple tree in the garden. Oh happy days… 🙂

    But your blog has tempted me – it’ll be spaghetti for dinner tonight, I think.

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