Could be worse--like "Kick Me!"
The tradition spread from France into England and Scotland in the 1700s, and then later to America and beyond. Each country celebrates the day differently.
Scots enjoy April Fool's for two days. The second day, often called "Taily Day," is geared towards pranks involving the butt.
People in France and French-speaking Canada, practice a tradition called poisson d'avril, meaning "April's Fish." This involves trying to attach a paper fish to a person's back without him or her noticing.
In some countries, the pranks only last until noon. Luckily, in the U.S. and in other countries, they can last all day.
A lot of people and organizations get involved in the April's Fool's pranks. There have been numerous pranks in newspapers, on television shows, and Web sites.
Taco Liberty Bell.
- For one April Fools' Day, many popular cartoonists decided to switch cartoons and featured their characters in other strips.
- In 1950, a major Dutch television station reported that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over.
- In 1957, a BBC television program showed the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. The Swiss claimed that the spaghetti weevil had been destroyed. The BBC received numerous phone calls from viewers asking how they could grow their own spaghetti trees.
- In 1996, Taco Bell ran an ad in the New York Times announcing that the company had purchased the Liberty Bell to help the country reduce its debt. It planned to rename the monument the Taco Liberty Bell. When reporters asked the White House press secretary about the sale, he replied that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and was now known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
- In 1965, the BBC interviewed a professor from London University who had perfected the technology of smellovision. It allowed viewers to enjoy odors over television airwaves. Many viewers called in to report the trial's success.
How do you celebrate April Fools Day? Are you a poisson d'avril or are you the prankster?
This year, have a happy April Fools' and watch out for people trying to tape a fish to your back!