Read about the origin, history and celebration of April Fools’ Day (Poisson D'Avril) in France.
Fundoo Times: Festivals: April Fools’ Day: April Fools’ Day in France

April Fools’ Day in France

Origin and History of April Fools’ Day in France

The exact origin of this day is unknown although there are many stories connected to the celebration of April Fools’ Day. Many people believe that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1564, when the old calendar was replaced by the Georgian calendar. As per the new calendar king Charles IX decided to celebrate New Year on January 1st instead of April 1st. People who did not accept the change and the ones who got confused celebrated the event on April 1st. These people were mocked and sent funny gifts for their misunderstanding. It is believed that this event lead to the beginning of the April Fools’ Day celebration. According to other popular stories, fish used to spawn in April. Thus, eating fish was completely banned. Later some people used this season to make fun of others by fooling them with artificial fish. People who were tricked on this day were called April fish.

Local name: Poisson D'Avril

Ways to celeberate Poisson D'Avril in France

In France April Fools’ Day is celebrated with great zeal. On this day children try to stick the picture of a fish on their friends back and when the joke is discovered they shout “poisson d’avril” which means April fish. Possion d’avril is not just a joke but also a chocolate which is in great demand during this season. Playing pranks are not just limited to children. Even elders use this time to fool their family and friends by playing tricks. Some people insist that at the artificial fish should be included in the prank. On this day even the media (radio, TV and news papers) tries to fool the people. The main aim of this day is, to laugh and to make others laugh.