Germans Are Candidates For Being Original Fools

After the last blog post about the Porsche Test Track, I thought I would share something a bit lighter now in honor of today.

Today is not merely the first of April. Today is also April Fool’s Day, so be on guard against pranksters and tricksters roaming around looking for gullible types. April Fool’s Day is quite popular throughout Germany, so you can’t relax anywhere!

Part of the reason that April Fool’s Day is so popular in Germany is that according to some, the holiday originated here. However, there are multiple stories about its birth.

One of the oldest stories traces the holiday back to Augsburg in 1530. There, a group of lawmakers was supposed to be meeting on April 1st to discuss a number of financial projects. However, the meeting didn’t happen. As a result, many speculators lost money, earning them the title of “April Fools.”

According to another story, April Fool’s Day was started in Darmstadt by Gabriel Hoffman. No one is sure of his motivation, but there is no doubt that the holiday has certainly caught on around the country.

You can’t even trust the news on April 1st. Many of the national and local papers put out a special April Fool’s Day edition. This has caused some international sensations as multi-national syndicates pick up the stories without realizing they’re fake.

Some of the 2009 national hoaxes included the announcement of women’s only parking spaces, magnetic towing on BMW cars, and the banning of lederhosen sales.

For 2010, the pranks are anyone’s guess. . . keep your eyes and ears open! ;-)

To see some of the great April Fool’s Day hoaxes from Germany’s history, you can look at the archives at the Museum of Hoaxes. Also, don’t be shy about sharing the hoaxes you think should have been included in the list!

Traditionally, pranks are supposed to be played before noon, although the national pranks tend to go on all day or even for a couple of days.

However long your April Fool’s Day experience lasts, enjoy!

—Marcus

 

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