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April Fool’s Day in Norway

posted on 1st April 2008 under Habits, History, Tradition

Today is the day, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! I won’t claim its only a Norwegian phenomena of course, but sometimes almost our whole nation fell for it. I’ll get back to that, but let’s explore this tradition a bit at first (I’ve dug into it and always like us to learn something from my posts you know):

One theory has to do with the change in the Gregorian calendar, in which under the old calendar New Year’s Day was celebrated around time of the Vernal Equinox; late March. Because this occasionally coincided with (or came close to) Easter, church officials back then moved New Year’s day to April 1st. However, when the Gregorian calendar was officially adopted in 1582, New Years Day changed from April 1st to January 1st. Some people forgot about the change, and continued to make their New Year visits on April 1st. Others paid mock visits to friends and neighbours shouting ‘April Fool‘ to those who took them seriously.

Stork ChildAnother theory to it’s origin goes back to Noah, who is said to have mistakenly sent the dove out to find dry land after the flood began to recede on April 1st. If so, the tradition is way old then :lol:

Some historians believe that the Scottish and French customs of pulling pranks in a way reflect the old ancient feelings of spring and well, sexual license. Blend that in with a smidgen of the Druid priest’s trying to deceive evil spirits so that they won’t interfere with fertility during the planting season, the sprouting season and the mating season. Think about it, that’s basically ALL year round these Druid priests are trying to fend off evil spirits. Maybe they are the once who came up with the strange way to ‘explain away’ how its done by using an innocent Stork :lol:

How about Norwegians then – easy to fool? Well, the best one I’ve heard so far might be this one:
A newspaper wrote that the state alcohol monopoly had over 10,000 litres of wine which had been confiscated from smugglers. People were invited to the retail outlet to receive their share: It would be a sin to pour so much good quality wine down the drain.
In the early morning hundreds of wine collectors appeared carrying all manner of containers: bottles, buckets, bowls, pots only to realise that they had been ‘had’.
Not an excuse, but remember that alcohol in Norway is very expensive and government laws enforce its limited availability :lol:

A challenge to my readers:
1: Share your best April Fool’s Day experience in comments and/or
2: Tell me if you’ve made an April Fool post too, and I’ll ad it to this post!

A: Tinsie in London: Spot the spoof.
B: Olga, The Traveling Bra: This is Not an April Fools Joke!
C: Betty C. at ESL Clubhouse: UN To Ban ‘Unnecessary’ Languages.
D: Sandier Pastures: and in the mail yesterday…

27 Responses to “April Fool’s Day in Norway”

  1. iplay says:

    Are you aware of this year’s plans to test foreigners’ English with dogs?
    http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/blog/news/ukba-visa-dogs/

  2. A. says:

    PS I’ve just looked it up, and it seems BMW still run the ads – a list of them here

    I missed them because I now read all my news online :)

  3. A. says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the “classic” British April Fools’ joke when the BBC news showed a piece on the evening news by Richard Dimblebey, the well respected journalist, explaining about the spaghetti harvest. It caused uproar!

    I remember some years ago, perhaps 15 or so, BMW ran April Fools’ advertising in the UK newspapers each year. One was to look out for counterfeits which had the BMW badge colours inverted. Another was about a new tyre which could inflate itself, complete with detailed technical drawings. Others I’ve forgotten.

    The great thing I think about the most successful ones, is that they should be just about believable.

  4. grace says:

    Sorry for the late comment. I posted an April fool’s day story in my blog too. The news I got about a salary increase which I absolutely believed! Shock.

    RennyBA
    Late or not: thanks for sharing anyway – I’ll update the post!

  5. Betty C. says:

    I did blog about this April Fool’s post, but it was on a corporate blog, so I would just prefer to share the original link. It’s pretty well-written and almost seems convincing:
    http://eslblogs.englishclub.com/blog/news/un-to-ban-non-english/

    RennyBA
    Thanks for your contribution Betty – I’ve updated my post of course!

  6. waah I could imagine them carrying their alcohol containers only to end up dismayed! HAPPY April!

  7. Sidney says:

    Sorry, it was an April Fool’s Day joke!
    Didn’t you asked for it?( “Tell me if you’ve made an April Fool post too, and I’ll ad it to this post!”)
    No hackers, no problems and I start blogging again next Monday!
    But thank you very much for your concern ! You are a true friend!

  8. Sadly, there is no April Fool’s Day in the cesspit of third world. I really find it funny when they make those foolish stories on the news or newspaoer in Norway. At first I took it seriously coz some news sounded true until I realised that it was false. But did you know that Bill Gates was mad with this Norwegian firm due to a silly joke. I think I read it on VG or Startsiden.no

  9. Max Coutinho says:

    Hey Renny,

    I am so embarrassed: I do not have any fools April story for you!! :(
    It has been years since I last played along pranks and stuff (I stopped doing it when I was 16)!

    Still, I would like to wish you: Belated Happy Fools April :)!

    See you, my friend!

  10. Ginnie says:

    I was going to do an April Fools’ image on my photoblog, Renny, and then realized it was really a Friday-the-13th image of superstition. HA, easy to mix the two up, I guess. :) I do love the fact that April Fools’ Day is celebrated all around the world.

  11. Sidney says:

    On another note… my blog was hacked and most of my pictures are gone. I had more than 5000 pictures on my site. I think I will quit blogging altogether.
    In any case I hope to meet you one day in Belgium , the Philippines or maybe Norway.
    It was a pleasure to have met you through blogging and I learned so much about your country.
    Thanks a lot. Anyway I will still try to visit your blog once in a while, even if I don’t have a blog anymore.

  12. Thankfully I did not get fooled today! At least not that I am aware of! ;)
    I did post a cute/funny thing on my blog though…

  13. expatraveler says:

    Happy April Fool’s Day Renny! Well it’s already tomorrow where you are and I’m so wishing I was back on tomorrow time again.

    So AF Jokes – Ever hear about the 1957 Spaghetti harvest in Switzerland? I have…. ;-)

    A new pic is up!

  14. Zhu says:

    I love Norwegian humor! :lol:

    Sorry to say I’m usually the one being tricked and I can never remember to do anything funny for April 1st. Funny things happen to me though, mostly because I can be kind of gullible sometimes! :lol:

  15. aka R'acquel says:

    When did the government start making restrictions with alcohol? Did it have a noticeable impact on the community after it kicked in?

  16. claudie says:

    Nice to learn always something new about your using. Really the first April is a way to laugh and take a distance with too much serious! I really enjoy this moment!

  17. Hi Renny, Thanks for stopping by my site today. I reposted the BIG bang, I am #214 but had gotten so many links I wanted to make sure everyone else got them too. Your post is very interesting, the change of the Gregorian calender makes the most sense to me. The wine event was quite a joke! Thanks for sharing it!

  18. Tinsie says:

    I remember many many years ago when I was a kid and lived in Greece, it was announced on the news that a fountain in the centre of Athens had started sprouting oil. As I recall, a lot of people were taken in at the time.

    You can see my attempt at celebrating April 1st in my blog :-)

    RennyBA
    I bit too practical of a joke maybe – thanks for sharing anyway.
    I’ve listed your at the end of the post – thanks for sharing!

  19. adrian keys says:

    “How about Norwegians then…”

    I would have been hopping mad…lol

    RennyBA
    :lol: I can tell you, a lot of Norwegian where hopping mad too!

  20. Agent 001 says:

    Well I just want to thank you for your visit to my blog and for commenting. I believe you have updated you Big Bang list.

    I am not commenting to this post as I am bored answering about April fool day.It is the most ……………………………………………………..I will not say

    RennyBA
    Your welcome – and great to see you here too. Mine is updated tonight!
    I don’t blame you for not commenting – kind of boring after a while.

  21. lime says:

    oh that norwegian newspaper prank is a funny one!

    i don’t have a post and i can’t remember if this was an april fools prank or not but one time my husband was asked to keep an eye on a friend’s apartment while the friend was travelling. my husband did just that and more. when our friend came home he found his entire apartment rearranged. the kitchen appliances in the living room, the bed in the kitchen, the living room furniture in the basement, and a bicycle in the shower.

    RennyBA
    April 1st or not, for sure it was a great practical joke – thanks for sharing Lime :-)

  22. Ruth says:

    I didn’t know all that and think the national wine prank a good one! You must love to drink wine!!
    Didn’t really do any pranks but when I taught, my kids tried to do stuff like turn the whole room backwards!

    RennyBA
    Yea, Norwegians loves wine too – especially if its for free!!
    A typical pupil joke I guess – an almost worn out idea :-)

  23. Diane says:

    Check out my latest post, Renny!
    It’s true. Honest.

    RennyBA
    I did – the flying penguin was great!
    Are you sure it’s true?

  24. ace says:

    happy april fools, renny!

    interesting facts. i didn’t know most of them, actually.
    and, wow, biiig wine prank huh. =D

    RennyBA
    Thanks Ace, glad you could learn something – wishing you a good one too =D

  25. Charlotte says:

    I don’t have any good April Fool’s stories, but my friend had a baby on the day. I always wondered if that affected the child. Probably not, she seems quite normal. Anyway, Happy April Fool’s Day!

    RennyBA
    Well, the baby did not know about this habit when it was born, so no reason to act any special – maybe a bit different for the parents :-)
    Hope you’ll have a good one too!

  26. susanne49 says:

    We have still some hours time to get fooled – or not! Interesting post, Renny!

    RennyBA
    Well, we’re at least 6 hours ahead of you, you know. Glad you found the post readable.

  27. Happy April Fool’s Day, Renny!

    RennyBA
    Thanks Teena – hope you’ll have a great one too!

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