April Fools’ day or All Fools’ day is a day celebrated in various countries on April the 1st. Some of these countries are: Great Britain, Germany, United States, France, New Zealand,…
Nowadays this day is not considered a bank holiday, it is more a cultural tradition than a religious celebration.
The origin of this celebration is uncertain, there are some theories about it, the most important is the adoption of the new Gregorian calendar in 1564 A.C, by the Edict of Roussillon. Till then, citizens of Europe were using two different systems (Julian and Christian). This situation was very confusing, some countries celebrated New Year’s Day on January 1st and others on March 25th.
The celebration can last till 12 pm or 12 am, depending on the country. In some countries like New Zealand, the U.K., Australia,… jokes last till noon, if someone plays a trick after that time he will be called an April fool. This is the reason why only morning editions of newspapers in England have a fake front page. In some other countries like France, Italy, Ireland,… jokes last all day.
In Spain is a little bit different. Aprils’ Fool Day is called by the Spaniards “El día de los Santos Inocentes” (The Day of the Innocents) and it is celebrated on December 28th.
Jokes are done everywhere, on TV shows, newspapers, radio, internet,… Some examples:
“The Sun” announced the development of a new edible edition of the newspaper, it would have a specific area that could be tasted.
In the 50s a dutch radio program assured that the Pisa tower had fallen.
In 2003, several Korean and Chinese websites informed about the death of Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft. Because of that news, Microsoft’s stocks fell 1.5 points down.
In 1980 the BBC channel announced that the government was studying a proposal of converting the Big Ben clock into a new fashion digital one.
Activities to do in class:
Learning about April Fools' Day
Knowing the history of this celebration
Knowing the different traditions of a foreign culture.
April Fools' Day
History of the celebration
1) In the morning before all the children come to class, the teacher could glue some coins to the floor. When the children come in, we can expect anything. After a while, we can explain to them, especially to those who tried harder, that it was a joke because that day is April Fools' Day. Then we can teach them a little more about that day.
2) We can put a few drops of red food colouring into a milk carton. Then we ask the children to drink some milk. We will observe their reaction and we will try to explain what could happen. We are sure they have a lot of theories, surely some great ones. Then, we tell them the trick and the reason why we put it (their April Fools' Day).
3) After 1) and 2), we can recommend the students to practise these jokes at home:
- Change the salt with the sugar if someone is going to use the sugar. To hide and to observe the results… Then they can explain to their families about April Fools' Day.
- To set the alarm clocks 2 hours before the time your brother or sister normally gets up, you will laugh, thought he or she won’t. Then you can explain to him or her about April Fools' Day.