Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

‘Pryma Aprylis’ in Poland April 4, 2008

Filed under: 1 April — ligregni @ 10:11 pm

April Fools’ Day, known as ‘Pryma Aprylis’ in Poland is really a special day with a long tradition. Even mass media have played pranks on Polish people since the television was made available here. The day is especially loved by children.

The tradition of the day in Poland dates back to at least 13th century but it got really popular only in the 17th century. Back then in Poland people would have very strange ideas about how to celebrate the day e.g. they would offer to their guests dumplings stuffed with sawdusts or coffee made with clay. Letters were sent with news which were 100% invention, strange presents were given or just a card with ”Prima aprilis” written on it was sent.

Two years ago, for example, Poles were informed by the media some scenes of the famous film Star Wars were going to be shot in Poland.

The day is popular with children in Poland . They love to dress up on the day and many schools allow their pupils to come to school in costumes and fancy dresses. It seems like a carnaval. Students love it when they can say to their teachers their clothes are dirty or have some tear in them.

Apart from 1st April there was another date associated with playing practical jokes in Poland, in some Polish regions it was 12th March when the custom of Gregorians ( st Gregory the Great was a pope and the patron of elementary schools) was celebrated. The custom started in the 15th century and was taken from Alsace. Once the school year started on that day and it was time for students to enjoy themselves, have a big feast together with their teachers. After a school mass they would participate in a parade all dressed up and they would collect money, eggs, dry fruit , pieces of chocolate or sausage. On the day they played jokes on their teachers, too.



Polish students, Gimnazjum nr 18 in Gdańsk

4 Responses to “‘Pryma Aprylis’ in Poland”

  1. gina Says:

    On your ” pryma Aprylis” your children celebrate at school just like at Carnival in Italy. In that occasion thay come to school in fancy dresses , play tricks and jokes to mates and teachers at the saying” A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale”( At Carnival all the tricks are good!), go in parades and collect money, sweets, chocolates… On the first of April they don’t come to school with fancy dresses, don’t go in parade but they have a lot of fun playng strange jokes to everyone saying then ” Pesce d’Aprile!”
    Similar Traditions in different country!

  2. ligregni Says:

    Unfortunately parades or collecting food belongs to the distant past. Very few people are aware of the fact they happened.

    Yes, I know, in Italy people enjoy themselves more 🙂 and never get bored with feasts. 🙂 Hope you had great time at your “Carnevale”.

  3. Liliana Mihalachi Says:

    We don’t even have carnivals here… I mean carnivals like the ones Italians have… 😦 However, there are festivals, street parades, etc. 😉

  4. ligregni Says:

    We also have festivals and even parades but they are not common on 1 April.

    The only thing we do at the time of carnival is having parties and enjoying ourselves in private rather than in public. There are also
    carnival balls organised for children (they are organised inside buildings ).

    However, the balls for children are becoming less and less common, at the peak of communism it was such an event for us to be invited to one- there were dancing, a lot of games and sweets of different kind to be won.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s