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April Fools’ Day: The history of the holiday
| 文章来源:英语点津 | 文章录入:随心飞扬 | 收集整理:嘉兴英语教学网 | 更新时间:2012-4-1 |
愚人节起源大揭秘
April Fools’ Day: The history of the holiday

 Consider yourself warned. Sunday is April Fools' Day, a day when you are encouraged to pull pranks on loved ones, co-workers, casual acquaintances, and even that one guy at the bus stop. It's an odd tradition, but how did it get started? What's the history of April Fools' Day, anyway?

Nobody is completely sure about the origin of this, the silliest of holidays. However the urban legend experts at Snopes.com say that most experts give credit to Pope Gregory XIII, who, in the 1500s, gave the world the Gregorian calendar.

In 1562, the Gregorian calendar moved the first day of the year from April 1 to January 1. Word did eventually get around, but some people were a bit slow to hear the news. These folks continued celebrating the new year on April 1, unaware that they were now three months behind the times. These "April fools" were tricked by those in the know. The tradition eventually made its way to the USA.

And it's still going strong. Over the past week, Web searches on "april fools day jokes" and "april fools day pranks" have more than doubled, and related lookups for "easy april fools day pranks" and "april fools day jokes for work" also spiked. Bottom line: Keep your guard up, especially if somebody offers you a word search puzzle. Lookups for "impossible april fools day word searches" are up 200%.

But really, there is no way to be certain you'll escape trickery. Because on April 1, even corporations are out to trick you. In 1998, Burger King tricked its customers by releasing "the left-handed Whopper." In 1957, the BBC reported Swiss farmers were harvesting spaghetti from trees. And in 1996, Taco Bell took out ads in major newspapers announcing that the company had purchased the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell. Shudder.

别说我没有警告你,星期天就是愚人节了。在这天你被鼓励去和你的爱人、同事、熟人甚至公车站遇见的人开玩笑。这真是一个古怪的传统,但它是如何开始的呢?愚人节的由来到底是怎么一回事呢?

没人可以完全肯定这个最愚蠢的节日的起源。不过,Snopes.com的都市传说专家称,大多数专家将其归功于在16世纪颁行格列高利历(公历)的教皇格列高利十三世。

1562年,格列高利历将一年的第一天从4月1日移到1月1日。这一消息后来传开了,不过有些人比较后知后觉。这些人依然在4月1日庆祝新年,没有意识到他们已经落后了三个月时间。这些“四月愚人”被那些知情者耍了一把。这一传统最后传到了美国。

而现在愚人节依然很流行。在过去一周里,对“愚人节笑话”和“愚人节恶作剧”的网络搜索量增加了一倍多,对“简易的愚人节恶作剧”和“职场愚人节笑话”的相关搜索量也大大增加了。底线是:保持警惕,特别是当有人让你做单词搜索迷宫题时。对“让人受不了的愚人节单词搜索”词条的搜索量增加了200%。

实际上,没有什么方法可以保证你不被捉弄。因为在4月1日,甚至连公司也会开你玩笑。1998年,汉堡王宣布推出“左撇子巨无霸汉堡”,结果是和顾客开的玩笑。1957年,英国广播公司报道说,瑞士农民从树上收割意大利面。1996年,提供墨西哥美食的餐饮公司“塔可钟”在各大报纸上发布广告,宣布公司已经买下了自由钟,并把它的名字改成了“塔可自由钟”。天哪。

Vocabulary:

prank: 胡闹;恶作剧

casual acquaintance: 偶然结识的人,泛泛之交

Gregorian calendar: 格列高利历,公历(教皇格列高利十三世于1582年颁行)

in the know: 知情的,消息灵通的

left-handed Whopper: 全球快餐业巨头“汉堡王”在1998年的愚人节发布新闻稿,宣称当天为每年约1100万名光顾旗下餐厅的英国左撇子消费者专门设计了“左撇子巨无霸汉堡”。广告登出后有数千名左撇子顾客打电话到“汉堡王”餐厅要订购这种汉堡。其实,这种汉堡的配料跟平常没有什么区别,只是食物都旋转180度摆放。

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