When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Swiss mountain cleaners
Swiss mountain cleaners
Anne Sophie Goninet

PARIS — April Fools' Day is an international celebration of silliness, with roots in ancient Rome, India and the first written reference in The Canterbury Tales. In France and Italy, the poisson d'avril and pesce d'aprile respectively, is a traditional call to spend the day trying to tape a paper cut-out of a fish on the back of an unsuspecting friend. There and elsewhere, the pranks have gotten far more elaborate. Here's a collection of five of the all-time best:


Take 5 — April Fools Internationalpar Worldcrunch

SWITZERLAND

Switzerland's Tourism Board released a video on April 1, 2009 revealed the secret to keeping the countries' mountains looking so darn clean: the hard work of the Association of Swiss Mountain Cleaners. Some 30,000 fell for this Alpine hoax, and filled out the online test to apply for a job with the mountain-cleaning crew.


UK

On the first day of April in 1953, the BBC broadcast a report that a mild winter along the border of Italy and Switzerland had led to the virtual disappearance of the "spaghetti weevil," and led to a bumper crop in the local pasta orchads.


SWEDEN

Swedish television broadcast a public service announcement for their viewers in 1952, explaining that there was a way to convert their TV sets to color, simply by pulling a nylon stocking over their screen.

IRELAND

Last year, Irish RTE broadcaster reported on the launch of a new TV channel focused on programming for an untapped audience: house pets.

U.S.A.

In 1998, Burger King proudly announced the introduction of its signature Whopper burger made especially for left-handed, with all condiments rotated 180 degrees.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

The Xi-Putin Alliance Is Dead, Long Live The Xi-Putin Alliance

The façade of unity between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin was lifted in Uzbekistan last week. But where exactly does the Chinese head of state stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Beijing is still establishing its place in the world, and it remains in contradiction to the West

China's President Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Russia's President Vladimir Putin during the 22nd Summit of the SCO

Gregor Schwung

-Analysis-

Xi Jinping is not out of practice. The Chinese President's public demeanor on his first foreign trip since January 2020 was as confident as ever. When meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, he promptly removed his mask and stood inches away from the Russian president, smiling affably.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

What looked routine to the outside world was a diplomatic tightrope walk that the Chinese leader felt compelled to perform. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since February, when they proclaimed a "friendship without borders" at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Shortly thereafter, Putin launched his campaign against Ukraine – and the world wondered whether Putin had used his Olympic visit to obtain Xi's approval for his invasion.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ