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Friday, April 12, 2024

From France to Spain: Countries that take April Fools’ Day pranks seriously

The precise origins of April Fools’ Day are still unknown, but, Western Europeans, Ancient Romans, and those living in the British Isles are often credited with influencing the birth of this holiday.

A Surprisingly Long History

Considering that April Fools’ Day is all about lighthearted trickery, it’s intriguing to notice that it actually has a rather long history. Some cultures celebrate it for more than just one day in April, which can lead to chaos that lasts for several months.

A Universal Desire for Mischief

One thing undoubtedly unites all people: the desire to engage in lighthearted, merry mischief. Similarly, April Fools’ Day is a fun celebration of playful trickery.

Pranks Around the World: Location vs. Social Circle

More than your location, your social circle will determine whether or not you experience these kind of pranks. Still, it’s amazing to see the different stunts people pull off when they’re feeling particularly whimsical in different parts of the world. You can use this knowledge as inspiration or as a reminder that April Fools’ mayhem knows no bounds, depending on how you choose to take it.

Countries That Take It to the Next Level

These are a few nations that go above and beyond:

  • France: For example, it’s customary to stick paper fish on gullible people there; it’s like a fancy take on the traditional “kick me” sign. When used with the expression “Poisson d’Avril” (April Fish), this lighthearted joke could make onlookers giggle a little.
  • Latin America: While Brazil reserves April 1 as its favored day for mischief, christening it “Dia das Mentiras” (Day of Lies), other countries in the region celebrate “El Dia de los Inocentes” (Day of the Innocents) in late December as a day of jokes and pranks.
  • Iran: Sizdah Bedar, which is celebrated on April 1 or 2, is a centuries-old Iranian festival that combines aspects of lighthearted trickery with superstition and springtime celebrations.
  • Scotland: Here, the fun lasts for two days thanks to Tailie Day and Hunt the Gowk Day, when residents play a variety of silly jokes and mockeries.
  • Poland: It has a special custom known as Prima Aprilis, which gives jesters a foreboding farewell: “Prima Aprilis, uważaj, bo się pomylisz!” (April Fools’ Day, be careful—you can be mistaken!) Here’s a pearl of wisdom that applies to any season.
  • Ireland: This nation has a custom of sending someone on a “fool’s errand,” whereas people in the Netherlands toss herring in a humorous manner at their neighbors.
  • Germany: Germans celebrate “Aprilscherz,” a custom in which they make up ridiculous but harmless tales to trick someone, whereas Greeks think that fooling someone on this day will bring good fortune for the coming year.
  • Portugal: Portugal doesn’t celebrate April 1st; instead, they like to play practical jokes on the Sunday and Monday before Lent, such throwing flour at people.
  • Spain: In the meantime, on December 28, the country celebrates Holy Innocents’ Day, a day on which jesters are exonerated of responsibility for their malicious actions and are allowed to continue acting innocently.


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