the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English
Joe's Cafe

April Fool’s Day

April 1st is called April Fool’s Day in English, and it’s a day when people play jokes on other people. They can be small, personal jokes or tricks, or big “industrial-size” hoaxes by newspapers or television channels like the BBC.

How or why April Fool’s Day started is far from clear. Its origins are lost in the past, but it seems to be related to a time when New Year’s Day was celebrated on or around 1st April. (From 1582 the western calendar was changed, and the year was deemed to start on 1st January.)

Many newspapers, magazines and television and radio shows have played huge practical jokes on their audiences over the years, but probably the most famous, and arguably best, was the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. In 1957 the BBC news show Panorama announced that Swiss farmers were having an excellent “spaghetti harvest”, thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the “spaghetti weevil”. The TV programme showed Swiss farmers pulling down strands of spaghetti from the “spaghetti trees”. Many viewers believed the show and phoned the BBC to ask how they could grow their own spaghetti tree.

At 12:01 AM on April 1st 2008, EnglishClub published an article about a proposed United Nations plan to abolish all languages except English. The article referred to the impact on climate change that translating so many languages had, translation difficulties for the CIA in America’s War on Terror, and the dangers of multiple personality disorder caused by learning more than one language. It was, of course, a hoax, and some readers recognized it as such and expressed great amusement (and relief). But many readers accepted the article at face value and complained bitterly about the “stupidity” of such a plan.

12 Responses to “April Fool’s Day”

  1. Bedish says:

    It is a cute story. I could educate my students about “April Fools” day with this article.

    Thank you

  2. Graciela says:

    I couldn’t find the third word ending in -gry. Can you guide, please?

  3. Jaqueline says:

    I found it very interesting, and used it with my students to start a chat in my class, they had a lot of comments, most of them of disagreement, but at the end I said it was a joke an they enjoyed the activity. I have to say that at the beginning when I read the article I was puzzled caused we do not celebrate that day, but later after reading the comments I found out the idea.

  4. Nina says:

    Dear Sir,

    it is interesting, I just know this April fool’s day.

    Thanks
    Nina

  5. bashir says:

    why april is fool’s day? plz need more explanation!

  6. ayyoob says:

    You are teaching students scientifically what a nice idea,
    If we are reading your lessons 24 hours continuously we will become the best English scholar
    It is very interested lessons please mail us continuously
    A lot of thanks for you,
    Wish you all the best

  7. tina says:

    It is a very interesting day

  8. Heena Naaz says:

    Dera Sir,
    I really loved it. It’s a nice way to teach and infirmative too.
    Will be waiting for this kind of mail.
    Thanks!

  9. Heena Naaz says:

    Dera Sir,
    I really loved it. It’s a nice way to teach and informative too.
    Will be waiting for this kind of mail.
    Thanks!

  10. Linda K (Hollywood) says:

    Although not a holiday,is a day celebrated is many countries on Aprils 1.
    Sophistication on friend,family members,enemies,
    and neighbors or sending them on a fool’s errand
    the aim of which is to embarrass.The gullible
    Traditionally in some countries,The jokes only last
    until noon.Like the UK,Australia,New Zealand,
    Canada,and South Africa. Someone who plays a
    trick after noon is called ” April Fool’s”
    Elsewhere Such as in Ireland France,and America
    the joke last all day in April Fool’s Day.
    Hope everyone enjoyed “April Fool’s Day”

    Best wish
    Linda K 4938 (Hollywood)

  11. Natalia says:

    very nice, thanks

  12. Patricia says:

    In Argentina there is a fool’s day but it is not April 1st but december 28th and it is called “el dia the los inocentes”

Leave a comment