It's April's fool day! In France we call this tradition "Poisson d'Avril" which translates as April fish. The typical French prank consist of discreetly sticking a paper fish on someone's back. When the person realises he has been tagged, the prankster shouts "Poisson d'avril" before scarpering.
A prank = une farce 🇫🇷
A joke = une blague 🇫🇷
The origin of the Poisson d'Avril
There are endless amounts of theories about the origins of the poisson d'avril!
It is believed that April Fools Day began in 1564, when King Charles IX decided to move the start of the year from April 1st to January 1st! However people continued to exchange gifts on April 1st.
The tradition never really disappeared but changed over time.
Eventually people started to exchange fake gifts – in general food – and made fun of it!
Why a fish?
One theory links it to the Christian celebration of Lent (le Carême) during which fish is traditionally eaten instead of meat.
Another one links the fish to the zodiacal sign Pisces.
Some consider it is linked to the fishing ban in April. Fishermen were not allowed to catch anything during this period and were therefore gifted a fake fish...