Budapest, Hungary – On Monday, hundreds of people marked April Fools’ Day by marching through central Budapest in a wacky and goofy “silly walk” parade inspired by the Monty Python’s famous sketch.
The march was organized by Benedek Petrok, a 27-year-old education assistant, who said the event provided an opportunity for people to forget about their daily stresses and problems.
“I think life is serious enough and every once in a while it feels good to fool around a bit and just let off the steam,” said “silly walker” and 68-year-old pensioner Valeria Meresz. Others see it as a way to express their creativity. “I will perform a spontaneous silly walk, the outcome will be a surprise even to me,” admits Borka, a 20-year-old student.
Participants, old and young, held a one-minute warm-up session before setting off for the three-lap parade near an underground station that serves expensive hotels in central Budapest. Videos were widely shared online and by the BBC.
The march was inspired by a famous sketch by British comedy group the Monty Python in which actor John Cleese plays an employee of the “Ministry of Silly Walks” charged with assessing applications for grants from individuals interested in developing their own silly walk. In 2005, the sketch was chosen in a poll taken by Channel 4 in Britain as the 15th greatest comedy sketch of all time.
The Budapest April Fool’s Day march was not an isolated event. Every year, an International March of Silly Walks is also held in Brno in the Czech Republic. This year, a record number of 250 took part in the event. “The whole world is walking silly,” they say, “walk silly with us!”
The next march will take place on 4 January 2020. Be there, or be square. In the meantime, here’s some well-earned inspiration…