Traditions - General Info

April Fools Day - Poisson d'Avril - Origin

This page was updated on: Monday, December 30, 2019 at: 3:33 pm

Poisson D'Avril is French for April Fools Day

April Fools Day – Poisson d’Avril is a very popular tradition in France.

It takes place on April 1st when all jokes, hoaxes and silly things are allowed and welcome!

Journalists read fake news (which they deny of course by the end of the program, if not earlier).

Children clip a paper fish in the back of their parents, who lovingly ignore it and spend the entire day with the fish hanging on their back.

They are great April Fools!

Friends make funny jokes and hoaxes all day long; everyone is having a good-humored day!

Origin of April Fools Day

April Fools Day originated in 1564, when King Charles IX decided to move the start of the year from April 1st to January 1st!

The traditional New Year 'Boxing Day', when gifts were exchanged, had therefore to be moved with it.

However, as we all know, habits are hard to disappear!

It indeed took ages for people to adjust and decades later many still kept presenting their family and friends with gifts on April 1st.

The tradition never really disappeared, but simply evolved.

Indeed, people eventually started to exchange fake gifts - in general food - and made fun of it!

Now, you wonder why children use a fish on April Fools Day?

The answer is simple!

April 1st was encompassed within Lent, the 40-day period when meat consumption of meat was strictly forbidden.

However, fish consumption was allowed!

People therefore gave fish to their friends and family.

"Real" fish was eventually replaced with fish-shaped cakes then paper fish, and associated with jokes and hoaxes.

Here is a selection of jokes, tricks, jokes and ideas so your children, or you, can enjoy a successful April Fools Day too!

Photo for April Fools Day via Wikimedia Commons: postcard  Public Domain
Express train RER from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris

January 12 2020

Express train RER from CDG Airport to Paris

Traditions – General Info Express train RER from CDG Airport to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris in 30mn by the express RER train link The express train link RER is the second most popular means of transport from CDG airport to Paris after the taxi. It’s also fast and good value for money,…
New Year greeting cards tradition in France

January 9 2020

New Year greeting cards tradition in France

Sending greeting cards is a tradition that originated in Asia centuries ago and became popular in England and France in the mid-19th century
How to get to Paris from Charles de Gaulle Airport

March 30 2019

How to get to Paris from Charles de Gaulle Airport

Discover how to get to Paris from Charles de Gaulle Airport using one of the three main means of transport, taxi, fast train RER and bus
Buses from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris - Roissybus

March 27 2019

Buses from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris

Direct buses from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris are a fast and economical means of transport while standard public buses are the cheapest but slowest

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at admin@travelfranceonline.com

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page