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Monday, April 1, 2013

The History of April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day, celebrated on April 1st,  is a very peculiar celebration. Although it isn't an official holiday anywhere, it's widely spread around the world with different names and sometimes in different dates. In Brazil, for instance, it's also celebrated in April 1st, but it is called "Dia da Mentira", something like "The Lie's Day", and as the name suggests, people have some fun by not telling the truth to their friends. 


History

It seems that April Fool's Day had its origin in ancient Roman festival called Hilaria and also in a Medieval festival called the "Feast of Fools".
But the most accepted version for it is related to a change in the calendar. Until the 18th century, many important European cities still celebrated the New Year (or at least the civil or legal New Year) with a week long festival called "Feast of Annunciation", that started on March 25th and ended on April 1st (during the Middle Ages many countries under the strong influence of the Church had changed the beggining of New Year for an important Christian Day, like Christmas, Easter or the Annunciation).

As things changed, some people who celebrated the beginning of the year in January 1st started making fun of who celebrated it on April 1st. 

In France, one common thing was to put a paper fish on the back of other people while saying 'poisson d'Avril', which means 'April fish' in French.   


Fools' Day History - Video

Now that you know about April Fools' Day you can practice your reading and listening skill watching this cool video. Enjoy it! And nice pranks!!  


For more information:
April Fools' Day (Wikipedia Article)
April Fools' Day Mystery: How Did It Originate?


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