Poisson d'Avril/April Fools Day Facts
- Chocolate fish are enjoyed in France throughout the Easter season and appear on 1 April.
- Children play an April Fools Day trick by placing a paper fish on adult’s backs then running away yelling ‘Poisson d'Avril’.
- The tradition is several centuries old with some saying it started from unknowing people being sent to market to buy freshwater fish when they were not in season. Some also link it to the zodical sign for Pisces being the fish.
- French poet Eloy d'Amerval is noted as in 1508 referring to a poisson d’avril
- April Fools Day itself is thought to have originated in 16th century when King Charles XIV switched France to the new Gregorian calendar. Prior to this, New Year’s was celebrated from 25 March 25 to 1 April according to the Roman calendar. Those who hadn’t heard about the move or who chose to still celebrate New Years on April 1st were made fun of as ‘fools’.
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