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31 / 03 / 2006

APRIL FOOL'S DAY HISTORY: meaning and examples

Good morning. Tomorrow is April 1st, or April Fool's Day. Last year we explained some vocabulary related to this holiday (see Daily Vitamin 01/04/05). This year we are going to explain the history of this special day, or at least one version of it. The history of April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear. Some believe it evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring. The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25. The celebration culminated on April 1st. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian calendar was introduced and New Year's Day was moved to January 1. However, communications were not so good then and, consequently, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st. The general population labelled these people as "fools." People laughed at them and played practical jokes on them (se les gastaron bromas). This eventually evolved into a tradition of joke-playing on the first day of April, and the tradition spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and the French. Jokes performed on April Fool's Day are usually ended by shouting "April Fool!" to the victim. If you would like to read more, this information for this Vitamin comes from the web page I know I'm a pesado, but today is the last day that you can get a year's subscription to the Daily Vitamin Plus! for 29 Euros. Remember that if you decide that you don't want the subscription during the first 10 days, you can cancel and we'll give you your money back. This is not an April Fool's joke, it's a money-back guarantee (see DV 16/10/2005 for more on "guarantee"). Have a great weekend and be careful of April Fool's jokes!

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