For centuries, April 1st has been a day marked by practical jokes played on people around the world. From large pranks about spaghetti trees in Switzerland or the tower of Pisa falling over, to small practical jokes played on friends and family members at home,
April 1st has been a day when people try to fool and are fooled by others.
Although the origins of April Fools is obscure and debated, the most widely accepted explanation actually credits the “tradition” as starting in France. The most popular theory about the origin of April Fool’s Day involves the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century.
The theory goes like this: In 1564 King Charles XIV of France reformed the calendar, moving the start of the year from the 21st of March to January 1st.
However, those who failed to keep up with the change or who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the weeks that fell between March 21st and April 1st, had jokes played on them.
While the “Poisson d’Avril” may have originated in France, Italy’s version of “Pesce d’Aprile” (ie April Fools’ Day) is very similar to the French one.
Today in Italy, those who are fooled on April 1st are called “Pesce d’Aprile” (the April Fish). A common prank (especially among school-aged children) is to place a paper fish on the back of an unsuspecting person.
The reason why “the fish – pesce – poisson” is being associated with April 1st is probably due to the zodiac sign of Pisces (fish/pesci), which falls near April.
The Italian verb
“to be fooled, to be deceived, to be taking in, to take the bait”
A: E allora raccontami? B: Tutto bene, ha abboccato e non ha avuto alcun sospetto!! or A: Hai parlato con Marco? B: Sì, ma purtroppo questa volta non ha abboccato!!