Tag Archives: poisson d’avril

This post is NOT a hoax :)

It’s the first of April 🙂 — did anyone play a joke on you yet? Called April Fools’ Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) the world over, it is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1. The day is not a national holiday in any country, but it is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools. Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day.

Precursors of April Fools’ Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December 28, a day on which pranks are still played in Spanish-speaking countries. In 1508, French poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally “April fish”), a possible reference to the day. In Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, the April 1 tradition is often known as “April fish” (poisson d’avril in French or pesce d’aprile in Italian). This includes attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed. Such fish feature prominently on many late 19th- to early 20th-century French April Fools’ Day postcards. In these countries, the pranks always involve the use of the word fish, in some form!

Ashley Macha of Health News and Views hasd argued that April Fools can be good for one’s health because it encourages “jokes, hoaxes…pranks, [and] belly laughs”, and then explained all the benefits of laughter, including stress relief and reducing strain on the heart. It also noted that the themed content makes sense within a larger context: “April 1st also marks the start of National Humor Month, a month-long celebration of laughter and happiness”, and who can argue with the benefits of that! 🙂

In most countries, the accepted rule is to play jokes and pranks only until 12 noon… after that the ‘perpetrators themselves become fools’!!!