Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Day

April 1st is generally known as April Fools Day. It's celebrated in many countries around the world. The origin of such a day is not very clear, though some people trace it back to the times of Chaucer, the 14th Century English writer. In Spain, the tradition of playing jokes on gullible people is celebrated on the 28th of December and it is related to the slaughter of innocent children ordered by Herod, the Jewish King at the time of the birth of Jesus. That's why it is called "Día de los Inocentes" or "Innocent Day".
On April Fools Day, people play pranks on friends. A prank or hoax is a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun . One of the most common ones is sticking a paper doll on somebody's back so that he doesn't know he is wearing it but everybody else can see it and call him "fool". But, undoubtedly, the hoaxes played on the media are the ones with a bigger impact because lots of people are taken in by them. I've found a lovely video from the 1950s. It's an excerpt from the BBC programme "Panorama" that succeeded to trick many British people into believing that spaghetti grew on trees! You can watch it next and answer the comprehension questions. 

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