terça-feira, 2 de abril de 2013

April fool's Day

The origins of April Fool's Day are unknown, although various  theories have been proposed. It is considered to be related to  the festival of the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 21. 

Prior to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, it was observed as New Year's Day by cultures as far apart as ancient Rome and India. New Year was originally celebrated from March 25 to April 1, before the Gregorian reforms moved it back to January 

The English first celebrated the day on a widespread basis  only as late as the 18th century, though it appears to have reached England probably from Germany in the mid-17th century.  

Its first known description in English originates with John  Aubrey, who noted in 1686: "Fooles holy day. We observe it on ye first of April. And so it is kept in Germany everywhere." 

The custom of playing practical jokes on April Fool's Day is also very widespread and of uncertain origins. The victim of a joke is  known in English as an April Fool; in Scots as a gowk (cuckoo or  fool); and in French as a poisson d'avril (April fish). It has  been suggested the custom may have had something to do with the  move of the New Year's date, when people who forgot or didn't  accept the new date system were given invitations to nonexistent parties, funny gifts, etc. 

Originally, April Fool's Day jokes 
concentrated on individuals (sending someone on an absurd errand such as seeking pigeon's milk) but in the 20th century it became common for the media to perpetrate hoaxes on the general population. 

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