Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | April 1, 2006

April Fool’s – the greatest hoaxes

san-serriffe.jpgDespite its familarity here in the UK, the origins of April Fool's Day are still remarkably obscure. Ancient festivals often involved jokes, pranks and jesting but it is not clear how this particular day came to be recognised.

I'm not sure what jokes or hoaxes you came across at the weekend, but there is one website that lists some of the best loved or most well-known. You can begin reading about their top 100 April Fool's hoaxes here.

My particular favourite from the past was The Guardian's 1977 spoof special supplement about the small island-state of Sans Seriffe. All the names, places etc were generated from printing and type-setting terminology, for example, the two main islands were Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Desktop publishing now makes some of these terms much more familiar and so the hoax would be much less likely to succeed now but at the time, it had the nation fooled.

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