Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poisson d’Avril

Today I learned that the tradition of April Fools’ Day originated in 16th century France. At that time King Charles IX decided that France would switch from using the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar thus shifting New Year's Day from April 1 to January 1. Not everyone jumped on the bandwagon and it was those people who became mocked as “fools”. In present-day France, people who are fooled on April 1st are called Poisson d’Avril, April fish. Why the fish, I do not know but this vintage Poisson d’Avril card is a hoot. Postcard: Paris Hotel Boutique

1 comment:

Krysta said...

Your post reminds me of my time attending French-Canadian schools. Every year on April Fools' Day, classmates would attach paper decorated little fish on the backs of unsuspecting victims. How odd that I never inquired where the tradition or the terminology came from, I suppose it was all too "normative."