Monday, April 1, 2013

Poisson d'Avril

Pans Used for Poisson d'Avril
Read below for the full story.

My Etsy Poisson d'Avril Treasury
I couldn't figure out how to add the picture of this Etsy treasury that I made here on my blog, but I did manage to figure out how to add the link.  Now, a bit about April Fools Day or Poisson d'Avril.

Poisson d'Avril, if you studied the French langauge, means April Fish. 
"What the ____?" you might ask....

The following is summarized from How Stuff Works

April 1 is a special day that celebrates foolishness. April Fools' Day, or All Fools Day, is an odd celebration with a strange history.

There's some uncertainty about when and where this bizarre tradition began, but the most accepted explanation traces April Fools' Day back to 16th century France. Until 1564, the accepted calendar was the Julian calendar, which observed the beginning of the New Year around April. According to "The Oxford Companion to the Year," King Charles IX then declared that France would begin using the Gregorian calendar, which shifted New Year's Day to January 1.

Not everyone accepted this shifting of dates at the same time. Some believed that the dates should not be shifted,. Those people may have became the victim of some April jokes and mocked as fools. Citizens in the rural parts of France may have also been the  victims of these jokes because in those days, news traveled slowly. They might not have known about the shifting of dates for months or years.

Today in France, people who are fooled on April 1 are called Poisson d'Avril, which literally means the "April Fish." One common joke is to hook a cardboard fish to the back of a person. Why the fish, I don't know. Some say the symbol is the fish is related to the zodiac sign of Pisces, which falls near April. It's interesting to point out that Napoleon earned the Poisson d'Avril monicker when he married Marie-Louise on April 1, 1810.

When my great grandmother was alive, she would bake a little cake in a fish shape for each of her granddaughters on every April Fools Day. A picture of the cake pans is at the top of this post. Have you ever seen some that are similar?

Happy April Fools Day! Happy Poisson d'Avril!


  1. I love this April 1st information on April Fools's Day in America and France!

    Very interesting about what signs mean on the zodiac for sure!

    Smiles, Cyndi

  2. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information on our April 1st holiday called April Fool's in America and France Poisson d'Avril!

    What useful knowledge!
    Thanks also for including my fish/ cat earrings in your treasury!
    Smiles, Cyndi

    Smiles, cyndi