You might want to leave your whoopee cushions at home if you are spending this April Fool’s Day in China.
Pranksters across the world’s most populous nation will have been left disappointed at news that the Communist Party has condemned the annual day of mischief.
Leading party propaganda organ Xinhua News Agency said on its official microblog that the “so-called” Western April Fool’s Day does not conform to Chinese cultural traditions or “socialist core values”.
China, which is a one-party Communist state, has long crusaded against Western cultural influences.
Contrary to the behaviour of virtually every news outlet in the Western world on Friday, the starting or spreading of rumours in China is a no-no, according to Xinhua.
The blog also curiously said that rumours should not be believed by anyone either, somewhat missing the point that the aim of the day is to trick people.
Along with official newspapers including the flagship People’s Daily and state broadcaster CCTV, Xinhua has been a key tool in the party’s campaign to rid China of unwelcome cultural intrusions seen as challenging its political orthodoxy.
Those include basic human rights and political concepts such as freedom of speech and separation of powers.