Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool's Day!

April Fool!
 
  Did anyone "April Fool" you today?
 
Well, no one did me...
 
But when I was small I used to fall for my Mom's "Look, it snowed!!"
 
every time...wishful thinking on my part!
 
(With the weird weather this year, it could well be true!) ~
 
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Here's something interesting, I think!

(I got this information here ~ learningfrenchcritic.com.)
 
In France, April Fools’ Day is known as poisson d’avril, or the fish of April.
Where we’re more apt to employ whoopi cushions and plastic spiders, French youth have a different tradition: schoolchildren will stick a paper fish on someone’s back, hoping not to be discovered. (Using the old ‘kick me’ sign tactic of a pat on the back and saying something along the lines of, ‘We’re such good friends!’ seems to be an effective method.)
When the paper fish is discovered, the perpetrator yells, “Poisson d’avril!
April Fish!
April Fools’ (or Fish) Day is, in fact, a French tradition dating back to the (at least) 16th Century. No one knows exactly how it began, though there are several theories.
According to one legend, until the 1564, the New Year was celebrated in April. The then-king of France, Charles IX, made the rather arbitrary decision (as kings were wont to do) to to set the New Year on January 1st. Okay, it wasn’t totally arbitrary, it did have something to do with the days getting longer, but still. It was then said that anyone who still celebrated the New Year on April 1st was a fool. However, references to poisson d’avril have been cited as far back as the 14th century, most notably in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, so this rather regal theory may be debunked.
The tradition could also be associated with Lent, during which the consumption of meat is forbidden. As fish was and is often consumed in its place, and as April 1st falls near the end of Lent, people (perhaps driven a bit mad by over consumption) began playing fish-related pranks. One such jest may was to offer someone a fake fish. Falling for the prank made one a fool.
The beginning of April also falls under the zodiac sign of the Pisces, the fish. Pisces is the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac calendar, marking the end of the year and supporting the first theory of a New Year being celebrated around that time.
 
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Here are some fun vintage postcards from around the turn of the (20th) century ~ ♥
 
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Pigs were good luck, too ~ like on many of the St. Patrick's Day cards ~ ;^)

I personally will never think of "April Fool's" the same way!

Have a great Tuesday, all!

Love,
Photobucket

22 comments:

  1. I won't either! Those vintage post cards are spectacular! And the history of April fools day in France is far more interesting than here in the US....the correlation between the fish and lent makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing! You learn something new everyday!!!

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  2. this was so fascinating- I had heard of Avril Poisson but didn't know the details! Thanks for sharing this- such fun- and the postcards are tres charmant!
    Cheers

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  3. Thanks for the history lesson Anne, I never knew this! Each theory makes complete sense. Love the old postcards!

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  4. I have never heard that story or the name Avril Poisson. How interesting. xo Diana

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  5. Thanks for sharing, very interesting.

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  6. That was a fun and interesting history lesson, Anne! It does clear up some things! The postcards are wonderful. I haven't been fooled today, but there's always the rest of the year! I'm pretty gullible. Enjoy the beginning of April! xoxo

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  7. This reminds me of those red Swedish fish. They'd be a great little treat on April Fool's Day from now on!

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  8. Yesterday my husband came to tell me it was snowing outside. I thought he was being funny but it was:( Mother Nature's April Fool joke.

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  9. Oui Oui...Poisson d'Avril!
    The only reason I know about this tradition is because my daughter attended a French Immersion grade school...their Spring carnival was called by this very name...so funny...
    And you mean I'm not the only mom who uses the "snow" joke? :)))
    You are right, this year it was NO JOKE! It's melting, though, slowly but surely.
    May April bring fun and joy to you, dearest Anne!
    Hugs from me,
    - Irina

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  10. Palomasea, that's how we found out about the Poisson D'Avril, also - when our two attended Ecole Elementaire whilst we were living in France! Weird tradition - good to find out a little about the history behind it. Thanks, Anne.

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  11. Very interesting..Love the old post cards

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  12. Love all the post cards. When I was young we did the poisson d'Avril thing and we also stuck a paper fish on someone's back.

    Once, my grandmother wrapped a salted herring in a nice package and made me carry it all the way home to my mom. My mom had a good laugh when she opened the package. I was fooled too as I thought that it was something special in the pretty package.

    JB

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  13. Really special cards! April 1st is also my sister's birthday.

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  14. So interesting!

    Love the pigs with the children and the frog on the lily pad.

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  15. I've never heard the background on April Fool's Day before. That was very interesting. I managed to escape being pranked yesterday too.

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  16. Love the postcards and the history lesson! Hope you had a great April Fools ;o)

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  17. Those vintage postcards are lovely!! Love the name of this blog!! Thank you so much for visiting and I am following you now!!

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  18. I love this and the lessons girl. Your blog is awesome and I just love it here sister .. HUGS and stop on by the rusty pearl anytime would love to have ya

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  19. New information to me....interesting and a little strange. The cards are darling.

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  20. Dearest Anne - what a great history lesson...I will never look at fish quite the same way again...like you no one played an April fool on me either. Ah those vintage cards are so lovely. Bless you for making me smile today while I learned something new. Hugs Debbie

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  21. Hello Anne,
    How interesting- I didn't know about the April fish, thank you.
    I love the postcards, especially the coy ladies, they remind me of our English tv program- Monty Python... Have a happy weekend, Jane xx

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  22. I will never look at it the same way again either. I loved the facts.

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