April Fool's Day 2020
We celebrate April Fool's Day on the 1st of April every year by playing pranks, practical jokes, and hoaxes on our friends, family and work mates.
The celebration known as April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day (aka Poisson d'Avril "April Fish" in France) takes place in mostly western countries.
The origins of April Fools' Day are obscure.
The most commonly cited theory holds that it dates from 1582, the year France adopted the Gregorian Calendar, which shifted the observance of New Year's Day from the end of March (around the time of the vernal equinox) to the first of January.
According to popular lore, some folks, out of ignorance, stubbornness, or both, continued to ring in the New Year on April 1 and were made the butt of jokes and pranks on account of their foolishness. This became an annual tradition which ultimately spread throughout Europe and other parts of the world.
A major weakness of the calendar-change theory is that it doesn't account for a historical record replete with traditions linking this time of year to merriment and tomfoolery dating all the way back to antiquity, and not just in the west.
The ancient Romans, for example, celebrated a festival on March 25 called Hilaria, marking the occasion with masquerades and "general good cheer."
Holi, the Hindu "festival of colors" observed in early March with "general merrymaking" and the "loosening of social norms," is at least as old.
The Jewish festival of Purim is also quite old. Coinciding with the advent of spring, it's celebrated every year with carnivals, costume-wearing, and pranks.
It's not unreasonable to suppose that the calendrical changes of the 16th and 17th centuries served more as an excuse to codify a general spirit of mirth already associated with springtime than as a direct inspiration for April Fools' Day. But we'll probably never really know.
April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Although there have been countless hoaxes over the years, these caught our eye.
The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
On 1 April 1957, the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees.
In 1996, Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in the New York Times announcing it had purchased the Liberty Bell and would rename it the "Taco Liberty Bell." Burger King pulled off a similar prank in 1998, announcing the rollout of its "Left-Handed Whopper" supposedly designed so that condiments would drip from the right side of the burger rather than the left.
Internet Cleaning Day
In 1996, it was announced that every computer connected to the World Wide Web must be turned off and disconnected for Internet Cleaning Day, a 24-hour period during which useless "flotsam and jetsam" are flushed from the system.
Snow in Melbourne CBD
In 2010, snow was forecast to fall on Melbourne's Central Business District.
Observation Wheel Reopens
In 2011 the Docklands Wheel re-opened ahead of schedule and boasting a revolutionary new design and name, but following unforeseen technical problems, the wheel had been closed and dismantled again. More..
Daylight Saving Ends
OnlyMelbourne told readers that Daylight Saving Ends on Sunday 1 April 2012, a week before it officially ended.
Melbourne's Ghost Train Tunnels
An amazing underground infrastructure where ghost trains run in the middle of the night remains one of Melbourne's most amazing hidden gems and one of Melbourne's best April Fool's pranks.. well done WhiteHat.
Melbourne Airport Rail Link
Part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, the new link will transform Melbourne's rail network into an international-style metro system providing passengers with a service direct from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station. Read Announcement
Secret Yarra River plan revealed
Under a secret agreement with the Melbourne City Council to be officially announced next week, a section of the Yarra River is to be permanently transformed using carbon-fibre matting that will turn the mud-coloured river blue. Read Announcement
Happy April Fool's Day!
When & Where
Date: Wednesday 1st April 2020
→ April Fool's Day 2020
→ Daylight Saving Ends
→ Melbourne Airport Rail Link
→ Secret Yarra River plan revealed
→ Hotel proposed for Eastlink
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