Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

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

April Fool’s Day: Poisson d’Avril! April 1, 2009

Filed under: 1 April — mariedebretagne2 @ 1:44 pm

“Poisson d’Avril”

It seems that the tradition of ” Fish of April” traces back from the XVIth cenury ( 1564) when French King Charles IX decided to start the civil year on January 1st instead of April 1st,  as it had been the case before.

That decision didn’t please old  conservative people and the younger generation who thought the idea was good started to play tricks by throwing fish on opponents. Most of the time the fish which ended up on people’s head wasn’t fresh at all. A smelly trick in fact!

Another version says that when the civil year began on April 1st, people used to exchange presents to welcome the new year. Food was offered as a present in those days. April was marking the end of  the fasting period. As people couldn’t eat meat they offered fish as a present. Over the years more fake fish were offered to play tricks on people.

Which version is the true one? Nobody knows but, kids enjoy that day very much and have a lot of fun. They also eat candie chocolate fish. 

Poisson d'Avril par Alicia. 6ème 2

Poisson d'Avril par Alicia. 6ème 2



Dans les cours d’école aujourd’hui, les enfants s’en donnent à coeur joie. Ils essaient d’accrocher un poisson au dos de leur camarade pour leur jouer un tour.

Les dessins de poisson d’avril sont une de leurs activités favorites en ce jour où ils peuvent faire des farces avec une certaine impunité. C’est une activité très prisée par les écoliers des classes primaires et les 6èmes ( 1ère année) de Collège.


Poisson avec lettres enluminées. Florian ( 6ème1)

Poisson avec lettres enluminées. Florian ( 6ème1)




Some kids are real artists and they  illuminate some letters as monks did in manuscripts in the Middle Ages.

Certains élèves sont de vrais artistes et dessinent des enluminures aux premières lettres des mots, comme les moines au Moyen-Age.




Poisson farceur. Hadrien 6ème 2

Poisson farceur. Hadrien (6ème 2)


Some fish can be cheeky. 

Certains poissons peuvent être farceurs aussi.




Other fish can be nasty ( see below)

D’autres poissons peuvent être inquiétants ( voir ci-dessous)

Poisson agacé. Naël: 6ème 1.

Poisson agacé et inquiétant. Naël ( 6ème 1)



8 Responses to “April Fool’s Day: Poisson d’Avril!”

  1. Naël Herbert de 6e 1 Says:

    Hello Mrs Munar ! I’m happy too see my drawing ! Thank you !

    Pupil Naël Herbert : 6e 1

  2. Liliana Says:

    We are happy to see your drawings as well. Welcome to our blog!
    Liliana&the kids

  3. Marie-France Says:

    Quite a great start for my younger kids. Thank you Liliana for your support. Tomorrow,we will all have a look at the drawings and at the post.
    My two classes voted for the drawings they like best. They only had to choose 2 for each class. We had a lot of fun doing so.

    Marie-France and kids from 6ème1 & 6ème 2

  4. Gina Says:

    Welcome to you Marie France! Your children are very good at drawing. What is the best fish? is it on the blog?
    All the best!

  5. Marie-France Says:

    Hi Gina,

    At least those fish aren’t smelly! Thank you for your nice comment.

  6. Killian Brun Says:

    Hello ! My name is Killian

    I like drawing one and two (6ème 2). But I prefer Hadrien’s drawing because it’s funnier. I like Alicia’s drawing because I like its colors.

    Killian BRUN 6ème 2

  7. Marie-France Says:

    Well done Killian. You can post comments now. We will continue to publish articles from time to time.
    Mrs Munar

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