April 1st Traditions from Around the World
Start writing a post

April 1st Traditions from Around the World


Tuesday was every jokester’s favorite holiday, April Fools’ Day. Hopefully you didn’t suffer through any humiliating pranks. Seeing of the shenanigans of April 1st made me wonder, why do we celebrate such a ridiculous holiday anyways?  The history of April Fools’ Day is a bit ambiguous but it is believed that the holiday originated when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the 1500s. At this time, the New Year was moved from April to January. Those who kept the April date were called fools. It’s not only Americans who enjoy the buffoonery of this day; many countries around the world celebrate April 1st in one-way or another. Here are some of the most interesting traditions.

1. Scotland

In Scotland the holiday lasts two days. The first day is known as Hunt the Gook Day. The idea is to send someone out on a fool’s errand. You ask someone to deliver a sealed message, the contents of which the recipient passes on and continues the game. The second day is know as Taily Day in which you put “Kick me” signs on people’s back.  

2. France

In France, April 1st is referred to as Poisson d'Avril, which translates to "April Fish." The term refers to the fish that are recently hatched and therefore naïve and easy to catch. The traditional prank is to tape a paper fish on to someone’s back and wait for it to be discovered.

3. Iran

The 13th day of the Persian New Year is called Sizdah Bedar, and usually falls on April 1 or April 2.  Pranks have reportedly been played on this holiday since 536 BC, making it perhaps the oldest known joke day. People traditionally spend the day outside picnicking and playing games. After the picnic, you throw away all green vegetables, which traditionally represent potential illness or bad luck for the coming year.

4. Poland

Poland’s joke day called, Prima Aprillis, often includes dressing up in costume and playing pranks on unsuspecting strangers. Additionally, the media likes to plan elaborate pranks often times involving public institutions to make it look more believable.  The holiday is taken so seriously that the anti-Turkish alliance with Leopold I signed on April 1, 1683 was backdated to March 31.

5. Denmark and Sweden

Danes and Swedes have two prank days. In addition to April 1st they also celebrate Maj-kat on May 1st. When someone has been fooled in Sweden, to disclose that it was a joke, the fooler says the rhyme "april april din dumma sill, jag kan lura dig vart jag vill" ("April, April, you stupid herring, I can fool you to wherever I want") for April 1 jokes, or "maj maj måne, jag kan lura dig till Skåne" (May May moon, I can fool you into Scania) for May 1 jokes.

6. Canada

April fools day in Canada is very similar to the celebration in the Unites States. One interesting occurrence on April Fools day in Canada is that skeptic James Randi gives out awards entitled Pigasus Awards that seek to expose paranormal or psychic frauds or ridicule institutions that promote paranormal claims. Past Pigasus award winners include The McDonnell Foundation, who gave $500,000 to Washington University in St. Louis to study spoon-bending children; and the City Council of AucklandNew Zealand, for a NZ$2,500 (US$1,800) grant to the Foundation For Spiritualist Mediums "to teach people to communicate with the dead.

So if you pranking attempts failed this year, perhaps next year you can adopt some of these diverse traditions to brighten your April 1st.

 Photo Captian

Make sure to mark your calendar next year so you do not fall for any pranks. 

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

I love listening to Christmas music just as much as the next person, but when I turn on my local holiday radio station each year, it just feels repetitive. No hate to musicians like Burl Ives or Nat King Cole, but Christmas music needs an update. Personally, I'm tired of the same "Let It Snow" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". So plug in your Christmas tree, make some hot cocoa, and listen to these amazing (and updated) holiday songs.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the holidays right around the corner, there are many things to look forward to. Time with family, friends, great food, overall seasonal joy... And now the fragrances from Jennifer Lopez.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Christmas Songs For Your Festive Playlist

I have no shame in starting to feel festive super early.


All of these songs are definitely popular. However, I have the strong opinion that having the songs on your Christmas playlist be popular is extremely important. Having everyone sing to the songs is most of the fun; it adds to the festivity of whatever you're doing.

Personally, I love to bake cookies and hum along as I cannot sing and no one should ever hear me. Whatever you do for the holidays, enjoy your festive time and the season!

Keep Reading... Show less

10​​ Songs That Made It Onto My November Playlist

Another month of finding new music during unusual times


A new month means new music! Like each month, I've collected my top 10 new songs or discoveries into a playlist. This November didn't have too many new releases, however, I did find a few and a couple of new discoveries.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Christmas Ideas For Couples That You Can Still Do In The Middle Of A Global Pandemic

The holidays are such a fun time to celebrate with loved ones; here are a few activities to consider being a part of during this Christmas season.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Whether it is a night in at home baking sweet Christmas themed goodies for Santa, or a night out exploring lit up neighborhoods, the holiday season should always be taken advantage of for cute activities!

Keep Reading... Show less

Every Track On Ariana Grande's 'Positions' Album Ranked

Ariana Grande has achieved major success with her new album and we're ranking every track.


Ariana Grande surprised fans in October, tweeting that her new album was being released. What followed was yet another number one peak on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album's title track and lead single, "Positions," also hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

With "Positions," Grande took a much more light-hearted approach than the confessional nature of its predecessor, "Thank U, Next." It was a welcome and refreshing change of pace. Now that the album has been out for a solid month, it's the perfect time to see how the songs rank.

Keep Reading... Show less

In the four Christmas' that I have spent with my boyfriend, I have realized one thing: boys are hard to shop for. Each year I have to rack my brain for gift ideas because when I ask my boyfriend what he wants for Christmas, he always says something along the lines of "nothing," which as a girl is hard to fathom since I literally give him a list each year before Black Friday.

After hours each year scouring the internet for the perfect Christmas gifts to get my boyfriend, I have come up with a pretty long and inclusive list. To help those girlfriends going through the same thing, I decided to put together some of the best gifts I have come across.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Ways You Can Safely Enjoy The Holidays During The Pandemic

Even with a pandemic, there are still ways to celebrate.


It's almost December, which means that it's almost time for the biggest holiday season to arrive! However, it doesn't mean that COVID-19 has decided to disappear. According to the CDC, 147,840 new cases of COVID have been recorded in the last seven days.

States such as Kentucky have closed all of their restaurants, schools, and businesses until December. Some governors have started to advise caution when celebrating the holidays, too. You may be thinking, 'is there any way to really enjoy Christmas during the pandemic?' In fact, there are ways to still celebrate the holiday safely. Here are 10 ways that you can still enjoy the holiday season without canceling any of your plans.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments