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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Hungary, Lesson 15 - April Fools’ Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hungary Series at HungarianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hungarian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 15, April Fools’ Day. In Hungarian, it’s called bolondok napja.
Have you ever been made an April Fool? Or are you the type that makes a fool out of others? Did your mother ever send you to buy 'mosquito fat' or a 'trumpet string' when you were a kid? Well in this lesson, we’ll be talking about how Hungarians celebrate this day of mischief!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question -
What is the meaning of the proverb "from crazy hole, crazy wind blows"?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
If you're looking for an explanation as to why April Fools' Day is celebrated on April 1, cast your mind back to France during the 1560s. In 1564 Charles IX, King of France, made a new regulation that the new year should start on January 1 instead of April 1. With this shift, the general New Year’s celebrations moved to December 31st, but the tradition of playing tricks on people remained on April 1st.
The storehouse of hoaxes, or tréfák, to play on other people is almost inexhaustible. According to an old Hungarian tradition, on this day adults send their children to the supermarket, in Hungarian called bevásárlóközpont, to buy 'umbrella seeds' or 'violin keys', or bring a 'turn drill' or 'shredder fat'. Children often think that these are real things, but later on they recognize they’ve been made into April Fools. But beware, the kids who've been fooled will surely create new tricks, in Hungarian cselek and take revenge in later years.
In Hungarian schools, the most popular tradition on this day is the "reverse day". This is the day when children are happiest to go to school, because there’s only a slim chance that they'll receive any homework. The roles at school are reversed; students become teachers while teachers sit in the students’ desks!
Unfortunately, April Fools' jokes don’t always go so well. In 1891, a mother and her daughter committed suicide after they got a letter from a 'funny' friend, who wrote that their son had been executed by the military court because his soles were worn. It was certainly sad news that made everyone re-think how the day should be celebrated.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is the meaning of the proverb "from crazy hole, crazy wind blows"?
This is an old Hungarian proverb, and it means that one shouldn't take what is said by a foolish person seriously.
Did you like this lesson? Did you learn any interesting facts?
Have you ever been an April Fool?
Leave us your comments at HungarianPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.