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Culture Lesson: April Fools' Day

Average: 3 (6 votes)

April 1 is known as "April Fools' Day" in many countries although the origins of this unusual day are obscure. One theory of its origins is that during pagan times the first day of summer was celebrated on May 1and only 'fools' would get the date wrong celebrating it one month early (April 1).

Today April Fools' Day is marked by the playing of practical jokes with most newspapers printing made up stories that they hope readers will believe. The next day they tell their readers that the story was only a joke. A famous example of a successful joke comes from the world of television where the BBC reported in 1965 that they had invented "Smell –o-vision" – TV shows that you could smell. Many believed this to be true until the BBC admitted that it was only a joke.  

If you want to play a joke on your friends, remember that it's bad luck to play a joke after midday; jokes should only be played in the morning. On this day, take everything anyone says to you with a pinch of salt - it might be an April Fools'.

Now choose the correct defintion for each word:

  1. obscure
  2. pagan
  3. marked
  4. practical jokes
  5. made up
  6. midday

Link: Culture Lesson - St. Patrick's Day

The EC London team have more information about April Fools' Day here.

  • An ancient religion where gods like the sun were worshiped:

  • 12 o'clock / the middle of the day:

  • Unclear / unknown:

  • Invented stories:

  • Jokes which make people feel foolish:

  • Represents something: