April Fish

Today is April fools day. It is a day you can play all kinds of jokes on your friends, family and co-workers. In Belgium we call it April fish, and one of the popular jokes is sticking a paper fish on somebody’s back.
It is important enough for the radio news to participate in the morning, and each paper always puts an untrue story on its front page. In the evening news on tv they always give a summary of the best jokes of the day. Unfortunately today is Sunday so there are no papers -at least in Belgium.

Where this joking tradition comes from is unclear, but ever since the roman times there has been a day like this, although it has not always been on April 1. The first time there is written evidence of the celebration on this day was in the 14th century. Looking for the origin I found out that every country seems to have its own local explanation, which does not make sense as it is not just a local thing. So let’s just stick to the fun of pulling jokes and not wonder why we are doing this.

Today my daughter and her (Argentine) friend pulled a joke on another (Argentine) friend. They said this is exceptional : Argentines don’t really know this day, the friend they are pulling this joke on has lived in the US for a while so she knows it. But the Argentines seem to have something similar on December 28, which is known as ‘fools day’. In Belgium this day is the day of the ‘innocents’ children, a day we don’t celebrate at all.

I was wondering if Tom Boonen winning the tour of the Flanders was a joke but obviously that wasn’t. (now some Belgians are going to try and kill me: Tom is beyond any doubt the most popular biker after Eddie Merckx). But isn’t this a nice one, posted by google?

I hope you all had fun on this day of fools!

2 responses to “April Fish”

  1. Actually, December 28th in Argentina is called “Innocent’s day” as in Belgium (more correctly “Holy Innocents’ Day”), we actually say “Que la inocencia te valga” (“May your innocence worth for you”) when we reveal the nature of the prank/joke.
    Somehow we ended up “celebrating” this day by pulling jokes and pranks, but there’s a catch (there always seems to be one…), no prank or joke can be pulled after noon.

    • Thanks for your comment!! It seems that in many countries it’s like that, no jokes after 12. In Belgium there is no time limit.

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