每年4月1日,是西方也是美國的民間傳統節日——愚人節。愚人節起源於法國。1564年,法國首先採用新改革的紀年法——格裏歷(即目前通用的陽曆),以1月1日為一年之始。但一些因循守舊的人反對這種改革,依然按照舊曆固執地在4月1日這一天送禮品,慶祝新年。主張改革的人對這些守舊者的做法大加嘲弄。


  聰明滑稽的人在4月1日就給他們送假禮品,邀請他們參加假招待會.並把上當受騙的保守分子稱為“四月傻瓜”或“上鉤的魚”。 從此人們在4月1日便互相愚弄,成為法國流行的風俗。18世紀初,愚人節習俗傳到英國,接著又被英國的早期移民帶到了美國。

  愚人節時,人們常常組織家庭聚會,用水仙花和雛菊把房間裝飾一新。典型的傳統做法是佈置假環境,可以把房間佈置得象過耶誕節一樣.也可以佈置得象過新年一樣,待客人來時,則祝賀他們“聖誕快樂”或“新年快樂”,令人感到別致有趣。

  4月1日的魚宴。也是別開生面的。參加色宴的請帖,通常是用紙板做成的彩色小魚。餐桌用綠、白兩色裝飾起來.中間放上魚缸和小巧玲瓏的釣魚竿,每個釣竿上係一條綠色飄帶,挂著送給客人的禮物——或是一個精巧的賽璐珞魚,或是一個裝滿糖果的魚籃子。不言而喻,魚宴上所有的菜都是用魚做成的。

  在愚人節的聚會上,還有一種做假菜的風俗。有人曾經描述過一個典型的愚人節菜譜:先是一道“色拉”,萵苣葉上撒滿了綠胡椒,但是把葉子揭開後,才發現下面原來是牡蠣雞尾酒;第二道菜是“烤土豆”,其實下面是甜麵包屑和鮮蘑;此後上的菜還有用蟹肉作偽裝的燒雞和埋藏在番茄色拉下面的覆盆子冰淇淋。飯後,客人還可以從丸藥盒裏取食糖果。

  不過愚人節最典型的活動還是大家互相開玩笑,用假話捉弄對方。有的人把細線拴著的錢包丟在大街上,自己在暗處拉著線的另一端。一旦有人撿起錢包,他們就出其不意地猛然把錢包拽走。還有人把磚頭放在破帽子下面擱在馬路當中,然後等著看誰來了會踢它。小孩們會告訴父母說自己的書包破了個洞,或者臉上有個黑點.等大人俯身來看時,他們就一邊喊著“四月傻瓜”。一邊笑著跑開去。總之,每逢愚人節這一天,動物園和水族館還會接到不少打給菲什(魚)先生成萊昂(獅子)先生的電話,常常惹得工作人員掐斷電話線,以便減少麻煩。

  如今的愚人節在美國已主要是淘氣的男孩子們的節日了。 http://big5.cri.cn/gate/big5/gb.cri.cn/3821/2005/03/31/143@499811.htm

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/language_tips/2006-03/18/content_545382.htm


As it was called years ago, All Fools' Day is observed in many countries around the world. The origin of April Fool's Day remains clouded in obscurity. But what is clear is that the tradition of a day devoted to foolery had ancient roots. As we look back in time, many ancient predecessors of April Fool's Day are found.

  A  French legendary  

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.

  Mythological 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 mythology, particularly the myth of Ceres (the Goddess of grain and the harvest) and Proserpina. In Roman mythology Pluto, the God of the Dead, abducted 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 folklore 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 hoax and declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment. And ever since then, April Fool's Day has supposedly commemmorated their trickery.

  Anthropological 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 fickle, as if Nature is playing tricks on man, and festivals occurring during the Spring traditionally mirrored this sense of whimsy and surprise. They often involved temporary inversions 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 linkage 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 lure. 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.

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郭易老師Mr.GuoYi

郭易英文企管科學院GuoYi BA English Akademia

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