April Fools’ Day which is observed on the 1st of April every year has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures. Although its exact origins remain a mystery.
Celebrated – (verb) > acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.
EG: They celebrated April Fool’s day by playing a prank on their neighbour.
Centuries – (noun) > a period of one hundred years.
EG: In the last century (100 years) there have been many technological advancements.
Cultures – (noun) > the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
EG: The varied cultures of the peoples around our world add beauty to everyday life.
April Fools’ Day traditions include playing hoaxes or practical jokes on others, often yelling “April Fools!” at the end to clue in the subject of the April Fools’ Day prank. While its exact history is shrouded in mystery, the embrace of April Fools’ Day jokes by the media and major brands has ensured the unofficial holiday’s longevity.
Hoax(Hoaxes) – (noun) > a humorous or malicious deception.
EG: The evidence was fabricated as part of an elaborate hoax
Prank – (noun) > a practical joke or mischievous act.
EG: The students played a prank on the teacher and replaced all the white board pens with permanent markers.
Shrouded – (verb) > cover or envelop so as to conceal from view.
EG: The furniture in the room was all shrouded in white dust covers.
Longevity – (noun) > long life, long existence
EG: A politician’s longevity in office will be determined by his popularity with the voters.
Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.
People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through to April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.”
April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands. (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.
Grammar – Past Simple
The Past Simple Tense is used to refer to actions that were completed in a time period before the present time. In the Simple Past the process of performing the action is not important. What matters is that the action was completed in the past. The action may have been in the recent past or a very long time ago.
Subject + verb in the past form
April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century.
In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event.
In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and websites have been known to participate in the April Fool’s Day tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences.
Grammar – Present Perfect
The present perfect tense refers to an action or state that either occurred at an indefinite time in the past (e.g., we have talked before) or began in the past and continued to the present time (e.g., he has grown impatient over the last hour).
Subject – have/has + the past participle
In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes
Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and websites have been known to participate in the April Fool’s Day tradition
In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees. In 1985, Sports Illustrated writer George Plimpton tricked many readers when he ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour.
In 1992, National Public Radio ran a spot with former President Richard Nixon saying he was running for president again… only it was an actor, not Nixon, and the segment was all an April Fools’ Day prank that caught the country by surprise.
In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich. Google notoriously hosts an annual April Fools’ Day prank that has included everything from “telepathic search” to the ability to play Pac Man on Google Maps.