It is believed that the observation of April Fool’s Day began in France after Charles IX changed the calendar in 1564, and New Years Day was changed to 1st January.
People who still celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1st became the ‘butt’ of many jokes. They were called ‘Poisson d’Avril’ (April Fish) because at that time of year the sun was in the zodiac sign of Pisces, the fish.
As in England, it has become customary to play tricks on family and friends. French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends back. When the ‘young fool’ discovers this trick, the prankster yells ‘Poisson d’Avril’. It has also become a tradition in the French media to relay fake stories. Newspapers, magazines, TV channels, radio stations and of course the internet also take part in this fun tradition. The truth is usually revealed the next day!
What pranks did you play for Poisson d’Avril? If you’re in France how do the jokes compare with those in England?
Let us know by commenting below…