What April Fools’ Day looks like around the world


Much divides us, but one thing that knows no cultural bounds is the human desire to pull some silly, goofy little tricks.

April Fools’ Day has a shockingly global history, for a holiday devoted fully to mild deception. For some cultures, it’s not even relegated to one day in April, cracking the calendar wide open for multi-seasonal chaos.

Of course, whether such prankery even crosses your path has more to do with the company you keep than the places you live, but it’s fun to see what other countries are up to when they’re feeling a little Fools-ish. What you do with this information is beyond our control. Take it as inspiration, or as a simple warning that you are never truly safe from April Fools’ thrall.

While the origins of April Fools’ Day aren’t unanimously known, historians are pretty certain Ancient Romans, Western Europeans and people from the British Isles had a lot to do with it. In France, a longstanding tradition is to stick paper fish on other people’s backs, kind of like an elevated “kick me” sign. This harmless bit of mischief is accompanied by the phrase “Poisson d’Avril” which means, of course, “April Fish.” As one French site noted, it’s not exactly the latest trend or anything, but if people are charitable, maybe they’ll give you a half-hearted laugh for your efforts.

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