Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fool's Day

Did you know that April Fool's day is said to have begun in France, when one of the kings decided to switch calendars, making January 1 the start of the new year instead of April 1. 

The information below comes straight from the website link included, and is simplified for children. But if you google "April Fool's Day in France" you'll find lots more information.

The History

In the 16th century, France celebrated the New Year just like we do today, except they partied on April 1st. In 1562, Pope Gregory changed the calendar to the one we use today and from then on, the New Year began on January 1st. Lots of peeps didn't know about the new calendar, or they ignored the new calendar and kept celebrating on April 1st. Everyone else called them April fools and played tricks on them.

Fools Around the World

In France today, April 1st is called Poisson d'Avril, which means April Fish. Children tape paper fish to their friends' backs and when the young "fool" finds out, the prankster yells "Poisson d'Avril!" In England, tricks can only be played in the morning. If a trick is played on you, you are a "noodle." In Scotland, you are called an "April gowk," which is another name for a cuckoo bird. In Portugal, April Fools' is celebrated on the Sunday and Monday before Lent. Pranksters usually throw flour at their friends.


  1. Personally, I love the English rule! The whole business with paper fish, going on all day (yawn) is quite tedious for a teacher, I find...

    Thanks for the history, though. I've got a pretty vintage poisson on my post today.

  2. Hi Lorrie
    You must be taking a well-needed break from unpacking. How were the cinammon buns?
    I've never appreciated April Fools' day - I find that many jokes are mean-spirited and not at all funny to the person who is the butt of the joke.

  3. Good Morning Lorrie,

    Thanks for that interesting information! I didn't know all those facts about other countries celebrating antics.

    Have a blessed Easter weekend!

  4. What a great post...loved it : )
    Am a little behind in my stitching, but have just been super busy of late.
    Wanted to pop in and wish you a Happy Easter.

  5. Hello, I'm English but living in SW France and my daughter is at school here, she was gleefully colouring in paper fish to take to school yesterday morning!! I've just discovered your site and it's great, I love all things French and vintage too.


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