April Fool's Traditions Around The World

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

When we talk about the month of April, many will be reminded of a day celebrated around the world: April Fool's Day. April Fool's Day is celebrated every year on April 1 by playing jokes on each other or spreading false information. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. Nowadays, even newspapers, magazines, news sites, and other media platforms take part in this activity. Usually they will explain or make clarification of the fake news on the next day.

Just like any other celebration, some countries have their own traditions in celebrating April Fool's Day. Here are some of them.



April Fools’ Day is said to have its origins in France during the Middle Ages. As the legend goes, until the mid-16th century, the calendar started on April 1st. When French King Charles I decreed that the year would now begin on January 1st, some refused to comply, and had pranks played on them for failing to fall in line with the king’s decree. The holiday coincides with Lent, when meat was forbidden and fish was eaten instead. The pranks played on the people who still thought the new year should begin on April 1st would sometimes involve fake fish.

Today the French still honor the tradition of Poisson d’Avril (April Fish) as pranksters try to tape a paper fish to the backs of unsuspecting victims, who then become le poisson d’avril.



In the UK, an April Fool joke is revealed by shouting "April fool!" at the recipient, who becomes the "April fool". A study in the 1950s, by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie, found that in the UK, and in countries whose traditions derived from the UK, the joking ceased at midday. A person playing a joke after midday is the "April fool" themselves.
In Scotland, April Fools' Day was traditionally called 'Huntigowk Day',although this name has fallen into disuse. The traditional prank is to ask someone to deliver a sealed message that supposedly requests help of some sort. In fact, the message reads "Dinna laugh, dinna smile. Hunt the gowk another mile." The recipient, upon reading it, will explain he can only help if he first contacts another person, and sends the victim to this next person with an identical message, with the same result.



The tradition in Germany is exactly the same as it is in the US, though with a slightly bigger overall importance. On April Fool’s you play a prank (called an “Aprilscherz“) on family members, co-workers and friends – even solid lies are customarily excused on that day. Newspapers, TV and radio stations typically have at least one story which is generally harmless, but “out of this world” and completely made up. To reveal the joke, Germans say April, April: literally April, April.



In Poland, prima aprilis ("1 April" in Latin) is a day in which many jokes are told; various hoaxes are prepared by people, media (which sometimes cooperate to make the "information" more credible) and even public institutions. Serious activities are usually.



The Portuguese keep it simple by doing one specific prank: throwing flour on people. 



The 13th day of the Persian New Year is called Sizdah Bedar, and usually falls on April 1or April 2. Pranks have reportedly been played on this holiday since 536 BC, making it perhaps the oldest known joke day. It’s customary to spend the afternoon outside, celebrating the new season and indulging in food, laughter, games, and good-natured jokes. After a picnic, you throw away green vegetables, known as sabzeh, which represent any potential illnesses or bad luck for the coming year. 



India’s Holi festival is celebrated on March 31, and is a day to play jokes, toss colored dust and wear face and body paint to inaugurate spring.

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