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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Greece Series at GreekPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Greek holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 22 - April Fools' Day. In Greek, it's called [Πρωταπριλιά].
One of the most fun days of the year is April 1, otherwise known as April Fools’ Day. On this day, as is the tradition in many countries, Greek people tell lies to try to trick those around them and play pranks—for the purpose of laughter, of course!
In this lesson we will see what April Fools’ Day means for Greeks, as well as how Greeks act on this day.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know how the tradition of April Fools’ Day began?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
This old western tradition is estimated to have reached Greece during the period of the Middle Ages or [Μεσαίωνας]. Even though the basic idea stayed the same, it has not gone completely unaltered. In some parts of Greece people believe that if you manage to trick someone, you'll have luck for the rest of the year. In other parts, the "victimizer" or [θύτης] will have a good crop. That means, of course, that the "victim" or [θύμα] will be jinxed for the remainder of the year!
According to Greek folklorists the deceptions of April Fools’ Day have a higher goal of misleading the lurking powers of evil. A successful lie on this day is thought to draw positive energy and luck. Some Greek people believe that the rainwater of April 1 has therapeutic properties, and so they give it to the sick. Another superstition is the belief that whoever digs on this day is actually "digging his own hole" or [σκάβει τον λάκκο του]. The sense is that whoever digs his own hole will eventually fall into it, and will end up being tricked.
Greeks have a good sense of humor, so on this day people play all kinds of pranks. Even the media try to come up with outrageous scenarios that they will promote as news to the public. The prank that the Greek Ministry of Culture came up with in 1995 was like nothing anyone had seen before! The ministry announced that archaeologists had discovered the grave of Socrates or [Σωκράτης] near the Acropolis, as well as traces of the hemlock he had drunk. Not only did the Greeks buy this prank, but the French News Agency, AFP, did as well and quickly rushed to broadcast the news to the entire world!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know how the tradition of April Fools’ Day began?
The most accepted theory is that when Greek people switched from the old Julian calendar to the Gregorian one, New Year’s Day moved from April to January 1. However, many people out of spite kept celebrating New Year’s Day in April, resulting in them being made a fool of by those who celebrated it on January 1.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Can you think of any good April Fools’ Day pranks?
Leave us your comments on GreekPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Can you think of any good April Fools’ Day pranks?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:20 AM
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Hi Terry,


I can't believe people fell for that story! I swear while reading the first line of your message I was like "Grown??? Seriously?!" Well, I can only imagine what it must be for your celebrating your birthday on April 1st. I bet you have lots of stories to tell us about pranks and other jokes people have played on you. I would be interested to listen to what you consider the worst one... or the best one, depending on how you see it!


Cheers,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Terry
Monday at 09:39 PM
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Sorry that should have read 'farm'

Terry
Monday at 09:38 PM
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A few years ago BBC TV News featured a small far where the best spaghetti was grown. It featured interviews with the farmer and other locals as they stood in front of the spaghetti trees all of which had long strands of spaghetti growing and hanging town from tree branches.


An amazing number of people fell for this. Not me as my Birthday is on April the first;)

GreekPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 08:30 PM
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Hi Elisabeth,


Thank you for leaving the comment!


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team GreekPod101.com

Elisabeth
Thursday at 09:48 PM
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There was one in Norway several years ago, where people were tricked into flushing the toilet at a specific time, as to solve a problem with the cloak system 😄