'The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year'
Mark Twain

• When do we celebrate 'April Fool's Day' in Spain?
• What is the Spanish translation for this festival?
• Do you play jokes on your friends? If so, what kind of jokes do you usually play?
• ……………………

A bit of History

The custom of this day is to play jokes or send friends on fools' errands. Its timing seems to be related to spring, when nature frequently "fools" mankind with changes in weather.

This custom was brought to America by the British, however, many believe that April Fools' Day began in France. March 25th used to be New Year's Day and April 1st was when the festivities culminated and ended. Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world in 1562. The New Year fell on January first. Many forgot and some did not believe the change in the date and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on the old date. Others played tricks on them and dubbed them "April fools" sending them on a "fool's errand" or attempted to have them believe that something false was true.

In France, April 1st is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d’Avril!" (April Fish!)

In England, April Fools' tricks are played in the morning and if a trick is played on you, you are called a "noddie".

In Scotland, you are called a "gowk" (cuckoo bird which symbolizes or represents a simpleton) with a favorite prank being a "Kick Me" sign.

In Portugal, they celebrate twice (the Sunday and Monday before Lent) by throwing flour at friends.

In colonial America one might have been asked to get a copy of "The History of Adam's Grandfather" or obtain some "sweet vinegar."

One common trick on April Fool's Day, or All Fool's Day, is pointing down to a friend's shoe and saying, "Your shoelace is untied."
Practical jokes are a common practice on April Fool's Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool's Day was a fairly detailed documentary about "spaghetti farmers" and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.
April Fool's Day is a "for-fun-only" observance. Nobody is expected to buy gifts or to take their "significant other" out to eat in a fancy restaurant. Nobody gets off work or school. It's simply a fun little holiday, but a holiday on which one must remain forever vigilant, for he may be the next April Fool!

(taken from www.lovetolearnplace.com)


VOCABULARY EXERCISE. Are yo ready for a vocabulary matching exercise? Click MATCHING to begin.

GAP FILLING EXERCISE. You are going to read a text about superstitions on April Fool's Day. Can you fill in the blanks ? Click GAP FILLING to begin.