The Sideshow

Pranksters, your day is near

The Sideshow

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Boy drawing on father's face (Ulrik Tofte/Thinkstock)

Boy drawing on father's face (Ulrik Tofte/Thinkstock)

Are you a compulsive liar who delights in telling tall tales to loved ones? Good news! Your behavior is about to become socially acceptable for 24 hours.

April Fools' Day (that's this Monday), a day where people trick each other with elaborate pranks or simple jokes, has a colorful history. And while it may seem like the kind of made-up holiday from the whoopee cushion industry, the holiday actually dates back centuries.

According to Snopes.com, most experts believe April Fools' Day began with the creation of the Gregorian calendar in the 1500s by Pope Gregory XIII. In 1562, the new calendar moved the first day of the year from April 1 to Jan. 1, a rather big change for the masses to adjust to.

These being the days before text messages and tweets, it took a little while for the news to make its way around. In the interim, folks who hadn't yet heard that April 1 was no longer the start of the year were called "April fools" by those who already knew. Bullying: It's been going on for centuries.

These days, an April Fools' Day prank can be as simple as asking if somebody's refrigerator is running or as complex as a mass media hoax. In 1957, the BBC told viewers that Swiss farmers were growing spaghetti. Apparently hundreds of people called in asking how they could acquire their own noodle-growing bush. And in 1998, Burger King boldly announced that it was planning a Whopper specifically for left-handed people. Sure enough, customers showed up in droves seeking the south-paw special.

Got a favorite prank of your own? Go ahead and share it in the comments below. Please, nothing that would lead to injury, arrest or deportation.

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