Around the world, media outlets and corporations try to out-prank each other every year on April 1st and Sweden is no exception.
On Monday, regional newspaper Sydsvenskan reported that several neighbourhoods and landmarks in Malmö will be renamed ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest, which Malmö is hosting in May.
For instance, the newspaper claimed that Lorensborg will be renamed Loreensborg in honour of singer Loreen, who won the international competition for Sweden last year. The shopping mall Caroli City is to be renamed Carola City after another of Sweden’s big Eurovision stars.
In other fake Eurovision news, astronomy magazine Populär astronomi reported that the Malmö final will feature artificial northern lights.
Swedish radio station P4 Uppland revealed the shock-news of Abba’s surprise reunion concert at an Uppsala airfield in the summer of 2013.
Olle Starlander of events organizers Starmarck evenemang told the radio station that this would be the biggest event in Uppsala since the 1561 crowning of Erik XIV.
In Helsingborg, lasagnes were found in horse fodder after horses had begun to act strangely and were chewing on each other, reported Helsingborgs Dagblad in a web TV report.
In Gothenburg, local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten (GP) reported on new measures to improve the city’s troubled tram network.
Snails will be ground in a meat grinder and placed on the tracks to ensure smooth and quiet rides, said the report. Gothenburg residents were encouraged to help out by collecting and handing in snails.
Västerbottens-Kuriren (VK) claimed that all dogs in the city of Umeå will be required to undergo DNA-testing so that the authorities can track down owners who do not pick up dog poop.
And on The Local, readers were treated to a tall-tale about
the hammer of Norse god Thor being found at a construction site in Stockholm.
Police forces joined in the hoaxing, too. In the south, the Blekinge police claimed that they had acquired a new weapon in the war against internet fraud: the dog E-type, who had been trained for several years in tracking down IP-addresses.
The Södermalm police in Stockholm tweeted: “At last it’s finalized. This summer we will try patrolling by air balloons. Just as good overviews as in helicopters, but cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Exciting.”
The Växjö/Alvesta police department in southern Sweden announced on Facebook that it would hold an auction of confiscated alcohol.
Among Swedish companies that tried to fool the public was price comparison site Prisjakt, which launched a dating site where you can sort potential dates according to body shapes like meatball, pear, stick and Greek god and then filter the results according to categories like popularity, number of partners and operating costs.
In Sweden, the April Fools prank tradition dates back to the mid-17th century, according to the Nordic Museum.
One of the earliest newspaper pranks in Sweden was published in 1911 by Svenska Dagbladet, which told readers that the 1912 Olympic Games would be preceded by a parade of 600 elephants lent by the Raj of Rajapur.
In another classic April Fools’ hoax from 1962, the famous Swedish radio host Kjell Stensson fooled Swedes that they could get colour television by wrapping their black-and-white sets in a nylon sock. Colour TV had not yet reached Sweden at the time.
In 2005, Sweden’s TV4 upset fans of hit show “Lost” by claiming that the tapes with the series had been stolen during a burglary.
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