April Fools’ Day Traditions From Across The World

April Fools’ Day is upon us. It is one of those holidays that has been celebrated across the world for many many years and we don’t really know how it started. What we do know is, that on 1 April, you can trust NO ONE. Anything can happen at any time. From your friends and family to your work colleagues to the security guy at your local supermarket. It is fair game for all. It is a day where anxiety goes through the roof because what if… YOU are the FOOL?!

Below are some traditions from various countries and how they tend to celebrate.

France: In France, the first of April is affectionately known as Le Poisson d’Avril, which literally translates to April Fish. The French tape paper fish to each other’s backs and shout “Poisson d’Avril” at those whom they’ve successfully duped.

Russia: Before April Fools’ Day officially arrived in Russia, Slavic people would celebrate the warm weather around the same time by scaring away winter with costumes and disguises.

England: You’re only supposed to tell jokes and make pranks until noon on April Fools’ Day in England. It’s not entirely clear how the rule came to be, but if you do tell jokes afternoon, be warned: You will be considered a fool. And if you’ve been successfully fooled before noon, you’ll be considered a “noodle.”

Scotland: Both the 1st and the 2nd of April are celebrated in Scotland, known as Hunt the Gowk Day and Taily Day, respectively. In olden times, Scots celebrated Hunt the Gowk Day by sending a “gowk,” or a fool, to deliver a sealed message, the contents of which would read, “Dinna laugh an dinna smile, hunt the gowk another mile.” The recipient would then send the gowk on another errand with the same message, and so on until the gowk (hopefully) caught onto the joke. While that ruthless tradition didn’t last, many people still paste “kick me” signs to their victims, a pastime that originated on Taily Day. 

Finland: After you manage to fool someone on April Fools’ Day, the Finnish custom is to shout “Aprillia, syö silliä, juo kuravettä päälle,” which translates to “April trick, eat herring, drink muddy water afterwards!”

Iran: The 13th day of the Persian New Year always overlaps with either the 1st or 2nd of April, and is celebrated as Sidzah-Bedar, or Nature Day, in Iran. It’s also the last day of the New Year’s festivities and is typically spent outside picnicking with friends and throwing leafy greens into a body of water to ward off bad luck. Even though it may or may not be directly related to the Western April Fools’ Day, it’s considered a prank day in its own right as it’s traditional to tell little white lies called “thirteenth lies.”

Netherlands: As in Finland, there aren’t many Dutch April Fools’ traditions, save for shouting, “1 april, kikker in je bil, die er nooit meer uit wil,” at your victim. That translates to “1st of April, frog in your butt, that never wants to come out again.”

Italy: The way Italians celebrate April Fools’ is almost identical to how the French celebrate it. Called Pesce d’Aprile (again, April Fish), its name is the same and so is its tradition of taping paper fish to the backs of unsuspecting victims. Italian newspapers, companies, and even the government have long enjoyed partaking in the festivities, and one of the more famous April Fools’ pranks was conducted in 1956 by Milan’s newspaper La Notte, when it falsely reported that city officials had made it illegal to ride horses unless they were outfitted with brake lights.

@Thesomethingguy: How does your family and friend celebrate April Fools’ Day?

Take a look at some of the biggest April Fools pranks in the entire world!

From the Famous BBC to The Big Ben!

Stay Curious, Stay Blessed!

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