‘April Fish’

03.29.2010

All over the world on the 1st of April, we will celebrate April Fool’s Day. It is not an official holiday, but almost everyone, from the smallest child to the largest media concern, will indulge in pranks both simple and complex. I guess the origin is thought to have begun in France? Although some say it started with Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, most likely the stage was set when King Charles IX of France in 1564 ordered a new calendar to replace the old Julian calendar. The new calendar was then named the Gregorian calendar, and changed the order of the months and moved New Year’s Day to January 1st. Before the change, the New Year was celebrated on March 25, and ended on April 1st. Perhaps some French resisted the change. Maybe government officials forgot to tell them about it. But they continued to celebrate the New Year during the week of April 1st. Those who had already made the change ridiculed them, and sent them fake gifts or invitations to nonexistent parties. The butt of jokes around this time of year, they were called ”fools” for celebrating New Year’s on April 1st instead of January 1st. Come to think of it, the entire situation seems very French indeed! So it is called an “April Fish” for us French people: the “poisson d’Avril” in French. So why the term ”April Fish”? Because the ex-New Year’ celebration once coincided with the sun leaving the zodiacal sign of Pisces. We can also speculate on the connection between April Fish and the Easter Fast, when only the eating of fish is allowed. In modern day France, Poisson d’Avril is mostly celebrated by children, who often make paper fish and run around taping the fish to their friends’ backs, making them a “fool”. Once the ”victim” realizes that he or she has been fooled, the prankster cries out ”Poisson d’Avril!”.

Unless to say that I am looking forward on thursday, ..need to prepare some tricks to my collegues!

Written by: Flavie Moreau

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Comments
One Response to “‘April Fish’”
  1. Shelly Darlington says:

    I’ll be watching my back on Thursday!

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