|April Fools' Day|
An "April Fools' Day" hoax marking the construction of the Copenhagen Metro in 2001
|Also called||All Fools' Day|
April Fool's Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1st every year. On this day, practical jokes (or April Fools) are played on friends and family. The jokes are done to embarrass them. In some countries, April Fool's only last until noon, and if someone plays a joke after, they are an April Fool.
People have set aside a special day for playing jokes for centuries. The ancient Romans had a holiday called Hilaria.
In the Middle Ages, New Year's Day was celebrated on March 25 in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year's was a week-long holiday ending on April 1. Some people think that April Fools' started because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates.
Long standing customs
In the U.K., a person playing a joke would yell "April Fool!" at the recipient. According to tradition, the joking was supposed to stop at midday.
In the Nordic countries, many news outlets would publish or broadcast a fake news story on April 1.
Sometimes a large media corporation would broadcast or publish a fake news story on April 1. For example, in 1957 the BBC broadcast a story about spaghetti trees. According to the story, people in Switzerland grew spaghetti on trees. Later, many people called the BBC asking how they could get a spaghetti tree.
Images for kids
An 1857 ticket to "Washing the Lions" at the Tower of London in London. No such event ever took place.
April Fools' Day Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.