April: 愚人节的来历!
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As it was called years ago, All Fools' Day is observed in many countries around the world. The origin of April Fool's Day remains1 clouded in obscurity. But what is clear is that the tradition of a day devoted2 to foolery had ancient roots. As we look back in time, many ancient predecessors3 of April Fool's Day are found.

  A  French legendary4  

The most widespread theory about the origin of April Fool's Day links the Gregorian calendar reform.

In 1582 France became the first country to switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. This meant that the beginning of the year was moved from the end of March to January 1. If someone failed to keep up with the change and continued to celebrate the New Year between March 25th and April 1st, various jokes would be played on him. This story might explain why April 1st specifically became the date of the modern holiday.

  Mythological5 roots

There have been quite a few attempts to provide mythological explanations for the rise of April Fool's Day.

One story dates back to Roman mythology6, particularly the myth of Ceres (the Goddess of grain and the harvest) and Proserpina. In Roman mythology Pluto7, the God of the Dead, abducted8 Proserpina and brought her to live with him in the underworld. Proserpina called out to her mother Ceres for help, but Ceres, who could only hear the echo of her daughter's voice, searched in vain for Proserpina. The fruitless search of Ceres for her daughter was commemmorated during the Roman festival of Cerealia and believed by some to have been the mythological antecedent of the fool's errands popular on April 1st.

British folklore9 linked April Fool's Day to the town of Gotham. According to the legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the King travelled over to become public property. People in Gotham didn't want to lose their main road and spread a false story to stop the King. A messenger was sent to Gotham after King John learned the people's trick. But when the messenger arrived in Gotham he found the town was full of lunatics who were engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish or attempting to cage birds in roofless fences. The King fell for the hoax10 and declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment. And ever since then, April Fool's Day has supposedly commemmorated their trickery.

  Anthropological11 explanations

Anthropologists and cultural historians provide their own explanations for the rise of April Fool's Day. According to them, the celebration traces its roots back to festivals marking the Springtime.

Spring is the time of year when the weather becomes fickle12, as if Nature is playing tricks on man, and festivals occurring during the Spring traditionally mirrored this sense of whimsy13 and surprise. They often involved temporary inversions14 of the social order. Normal behavior no longer governed during the brief moment of transition as the old world died and the new cycle of seasons was born. Practical jokes,trickery, and the turning upside down of status expectations were all allowed.

In addition,the linkage15 between April Foolery and the Springtime is seen in another story that traces the origin of the custom back to the abundance of fish to be found in French streams during early April when the young fish had just hatched. These young fish were easy to fool with a hook and lure16. Therefore, the French called them 'Poisson d'Avril' or 'April Fish.' Soon it became customary to fool people on April 1, as a way of celebrating the abundance of foolish fish.





Ceres: 谷类女神,犹如希腊神化中的Demeter,掌管农业,富饶女神

Proserpina: 普罗塞耳皮娜,丰饶女神的女儿,后被Pluto诱拐成为地狱的女神

Pluto: 普罗托,罗马神话的冥神


fool's errands : fruitless mission or undertaking(徒劳无用的工作)

Gotham: 哥谭镇, 英国传说中的愚人村, 同时也是纽约的别名

lunatics: 傻瓜,疯子

fall for: 喜欢,爱上

too foolish to warrant punishment: 因为村子里的人很愚笨,所以可以得到赦免

fickle: capricious(反复无常)

: celebrate(庆祝)

Gregorian calendar: 格里高里历法,即现行的阳历,公历,由教皇格列高利十三世于1582年倡导使用,为朱利安历法的改进版


1 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
2 devoted xu9zka     
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
3 predecessors b59b392832b9ce6825062c39c88d5147     
n.前任( predecessor的名词复数 );前辈;(被取代的)原有事物;前身
  • The new government set about dismantling their predecessors' legislation. 新政府正着手废除其前任所制定的法律。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Will new plan be any more acceptable than its predecessors? 新计划比原先的计划更能令人满意吗? 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 legendary u1Vxg     
  • Legendary stories are passed down from parents to children.传奇故事是由父母传给孩子们的。
  • Odysseus was a legendary Greek hero.奥狄修斯是传说中的希腊英雄。
5 mythological BFaxL     
  • He is remembered for his historical and mythological works. 他以其带有历史感和神话色彩的作品而著称。
  • But even so, the cumulative process had for most Americans a deep, almost mythological significance. 不过即使如此,移民渐增的过程,对于大部分美国人,还是意味深长的,几乎有不可思议的影响。
6 mythology I6zzV     
  • In Greek mythology,Zeus was the ruler of Gods and men.在希腊神话中,宙斯是众神和人类的统治者。
  • He is the hero of Greek mythology.他是希腊民间传说中的英雄。
7 Pluto wu0yF     
  • Pluto is the furthest planet from the sun.冥王星是离太阳最远的行星。
  • Pluto has an elliptic orbit.冥王星的轨道是椭圆形的。
8 abducted 73ee11a839b49a2cf5305f1c0af4ca6a     
劫持,诱拐( abduct的过去式和过去分词 ); 使(肢体等)外展
  • Detectives have not ruled out the possibility that she was abducted. 侦探尚未排除她被绑架的可能性。
  • The kid was abducted at the gate of kindergarten. 那小孩在幼儿园大门口被绑架走了。
9 folklore G6myz     
  • Zhuge Liang is a synonym for wisdom in folklore.诸葛亮在民间传说中成了智慧的代名词。
  • In Chinese folklore the bat is an emblem of good fortune.在中国的民间传说中蝙蝠是好运的象征。
10 hoax pcAxs     
  • They were the victims of a cruel hoax.他们是一个残忍恶作剧的受害者。
  • They hoax him out of his money.他们骗去他的钱。
11 anthropological anthropological     
  • These facts of responsibility are an anthropological datums- varied and multiform. 这些道德事实是一种人类学资料——性质不同,形式各异。 来自哲学部分
  • It is the most difficult of all anthropological data on which to "draw" the old Negro. 在所有的人类学资料中,最困难的事莫过于“刻划”古代的黑人。 来自辞典例句
12 fickle Lg9zn     
  • Fluctuating prices usually base on a fickle public's demand.物价的波动往往是由于群众需求的不稳定而引起的。
  • The weather is so fickle in summer.夏日的天气如此多变。
13 whimsy TIlyx     
  • They are like oracular messages,but witty-jaunty at times-and sometimes trembling on the edge of whimsy.它们都像神谕,但很机智,有时极其轻快,有时又濒于怪诞。
  • He had a whimsy about flying to the moon.他有个想飞上月球的怪念头。
14 inversions 5849e5dcb56365f0d87cffcfd9939cdb     
倒置( inversion的名词复数 ); (尤指词序)倒装; 转化; (染色体的)倒位
  • Chromosome breaks may also lead to inversions and translocations. 染色体破裂也可能引起倒位与易位。
  • The males suspected to have induced inversions were later used to build up stocks. 疑有诱发倒位的雄性然后用于建立原种。
15 linkage l01xl     
  • In their monographic treatment of linkage,they have emphasized this especially.他们在论连锁的专题文章中特别强调了这点。
  • Occasionally,problems with block inheritance or linkage are encountered.有时会遇到区段遗传或连锁问题。
16 lure l8Gz2     
  • Life in big cities is a lure for many country boys.大城市的生活吸引着许多乡下小伙子。
  • He couldn't resist the lure of money.他不能抵制金钱的诱惑。