Quelques journées internationales : avril

  • Le Poisson d’avril : April Fool’s Day
    Worldwide the date is 1st April but it seems the tradition may have had its origins in the reform of the French calendar in the 16th century. In 1564 King Charles XIV of France moved the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. However, in a time without trains, a reliable post system or the internet, news often travelled slowly and the uneducated, lower-class people in rural France were the last to hear of and accept the new calendar. Those who failed to keep up with the change or who stubbornly celebrated the New Year between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims were thus called poisson d’avril, and so the tradition was born. Why a fish ? It is not clear, but the zodiac sign of Pisces (a fish) falls near April.

    For le Poisson d’avril, the bakeries and chocolatiers make fish shaped pastries and chocolates in honour of the day.