Many of you probably already guessed: The story we ran yesterday entitled ‘Google Signs Deal with Iceland’ and Páll Stefánsson’s column ‘Page and the President’ were April Fools’ Day jokes—a long-standing tradition of the Icelandic media.
The best April Fools’ Day gags are, however, when people are persuaded to hlaupa apríl, as we say here in Iceland; to “make an April run” and head off to a certain location.
Yesterday, RÚV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, ran a story that the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland was giving away beer from the mid-winter festival of Þorrablót, which was held from late January to late February. It is not permitted to sell festive beer outside of the festival period. RÚV also ran a story that it was looking for applicants for a presenter for this year's Eurovision coverage.Twenty-seven people applied for the job.
In other April Fools’ Day news, mbl.is ran a story that Hreyfing gym was launching naked yoga classes yesterday. Many people apparently rang the gym asking about whether or not the class was a joke and two people turned up for the first class.
The tradition of April Fools’ Day news stories is of course not unique to Iceland. The BBC ran a story yesterday with some of this year’s jokes. The hashtag #AprilFoolsDay was used more than 400,000 times in 24 hours.