Friday, April 1, 2011

A- April Fish Day!

The A-Z challenge has begun. 

Duh duh duuuhhh.

 I haven’t written out any posts in advance -so I guess we’ll just see where alphabetic inspiration takes us, shall we?

Today I think we all are collectively wiping our brows in relief.  It’s April Fools Day.  An easy ‘A’ if ever there was one.

But in the spirit of Friday’s ‘living in France’-I hereby present:

 April Fish Day

In France, people celebrate April Fools just like in most other countries.

With one small difference. 

They stick each other with fish.

Usually paper fish.  Sometimes cardboard cut outs or printed out stickers.  They don’t use real fish (to the best of my knowledge but I assume there are those who have gone the distance and smacked someone will a real flapping fish for the occasion) 

My first year teaching primary school here I remember feeling light little taps on my back as I made my way into the classroom.  The kids kept shouting ‘Poisson d’Avril!!  Poisson d’Avril!!!’

I was like- ‘Chill out French children!  OH-and what the hell’s an April Fish?’ (ok, maybe not those exact words)

I felt my hair being lightly pulled as I turned.  Attached to the end was a piece of tape and a paper gold fish.  The kids went flippin’ nuts.  I took off my coat and -low and behold, I had about ten cut out fish duct taped to the back.

“Oh that’s a good one!” I laughed.  “You guys got me!  We have April Fools day too you know!”

*kids still giggling*

I took another look at my hairy coat back aquarium.  “So, what’s with the fish?  Why do you tape fish onto people’s backs on April 1st?”

*giggling stops and gives way to radio silence*

The kids look from one to the other, smiles gone, brows furrowed.  We all finally turn in unison towards the teacher in the back of the room.

She just shrugs.  “Nobody really knows.”

I clear my throat and decide to change the subject.  “Ooookay ya bunch of weirdo’s , moving right along then…” (or something to that affect)

Today the principle was the one who stuck me with a fish.  It is tradition after all.

Ofcourse I had to God-or-Google why the French associate fish with April fool’s day.  My first thought was that perhaps back in the day, ‘fish’ was also the word for ‘fool’ and that maybe the French just got a little carried away or confused on the subject?

Though there was mention of April 1st being the old new year, fish given during lent, or offering fake fish because fishing season was actually closed at this time of year—In the end, that teacher’s assessment turned out to be true.  --Nobody frickin’ knows.

Welcome to the A-Z people!  It's gonna be a looong month!;)

*CQG*

44 comments:

Áine Tierney said...

Happy April Fish day! I looked for that Higgin's book in the book shops here, but no joy, so amazon for me.
Best of luck with the A-Z!

Gina said...

A pantser in the A-Z challenge- this oughta be interesting! Great job so far! You always have the most interesting stories.

BTW, you won an award on my blog, so stop by if you have a chance!

Jen Daiker said...

Bahahaha I could imagine if they used real fish the stench would be killer! What a post! You left me giggling!

Woohoo! I love your pansting ability. You and I will be working together since I have not prepared like some have. They've all gotten their 26 posts done... I'm just winging it... Go figs. I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one.

Justine Dell said...

A fish? LoL. That's funny! I would rather get stuck with a fish than eat a donut that someone filled with ketchup as an April Fools joke!

Have a great weekend!

~JD

Laura Pauling said...

That's too funny. I wonder what traditions we have in America that seem to make no sense like that.

Janet Johnson said...

You gotta love the French!

But their joke is sure a lot easier in execution! We have to actually THINK and come up with something that might be funny. :)

Joyeux poisson d'avril!

Jessica Bell said...

Fish, hey? Interesting! lol. Ps: You won something. the pst is below the a-z one. I'll email you soonish. :o)

atimetoshine said...

Haha, Happy April Fish Day! Looking forward to reading more of your posts as the challenge continues!

Carolyn V said...

April Fish Day. lol! Great post Katie! hee hee.

Matthew MacNish said...

I saw the funniest thing the other day. Apparently the McDonald's Filet of Fish Sandwich is, of course, called the Filet de Poisson, in France. It looks awfully strange to American rednecks around here.

http://image34.webshots.com/35/2/2/17/266120217fxjnEL_fs.jpg

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

This reminds me of the Fish Slapping Dance from Monty Python!

Sandra

www.ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com

Laura Marcella said...

Oooo, that's fantastic! I wish I knew someone who is French so I could tape fish to their clothes. Too funny!

Laura Maylene said...

This is a fabulous Useless Fact to start my day! Thank you, thank you.

Meika said...

Haha that's so funny! Thanks for sharing this piece of French culture. I'm sure I'll spend the rest of the day telling people this. And maybe sticking them with a fish or two...

Old Kitty said...

Erm. You got me to google April Fish day AND France!!! Ahem. Poisson D'Avril!

LOL!!

Take care
x

Kelly M. Olsen said...

Maybe they do it just for the "halibut". haha. I know, lame! Great, educational blog, though!

mooderino said...

Hmm, I'm not convinced you aren't tickling us with your own fish. The French are weird, but...

regads
Mood

Kristine Asselin said...

How great is this! I love it!

Nicole Zoltack said...

That's so funny! I so want to slap around some fishes now.

Amanda Trought said...

Totally forgot that it was April Fools Day today, as kids we used to always manage to trick our parents.....I'm thinking that you are pulling our legs on this story (a little bit):D Great to see you doing the challenge!

Gina said...

Katie- I did get the book. Thanks!

Katie Mills said...

LOL I can't believe how many people think I'm making this up! Google it guys!

Ella said...

Thanks for sharing; Sometimes it is just for silly fun~ Go with the flow, oh, that would be fish like, right ;-D

Roza M said...

Getting stuck with fish, Classic. Great post as usual. =) Happy fish/april fools day to you.

Laura Eno said...

Thanks for the great story!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

April Fish Day! Strange, as you said, but mostly harmless! My day in 5th grade was filled with "Your shoe is untied" types of jokes. Nothing too original.

Although one of my grade level partners did convince her class that we had mistakenly missed taking a reading and math standardized test (just when they thought they were all done) and were making it up on Monday.

Carolyn Abiad said...

LOL! And here I was...so excited to finally find out...and nobody frickin knows! :D

W.B. said...

Happy April Fish Day, Katie! :)

Lindsay said...

Happy April Fish day. Weird fact -- we had fish for dinner today. April Fish day in france, fishy food in the UK. :)

salarsenッ said...

Yes!! I loved it! We agree. Merci, my belle fille. (Hah...I'm not even sure that's correct.)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I love the pastries and chocolate fish available in the patisseries in France for April Fool's. Good memories!

Caitlin said...

Haha wow, April Fish Day? Well, happy April Fish Day!

Melissa said...

hahaha OH April Fish day!!! Haha I want to stick someone with a fish!! The french are crazy... but AWESOME

kathy stemke said...

April Fish Day? No Foolin'? I'm following you now. i write children's books-check me out.

Cheree said...

April Fish Day, now that's funny. There are some traditions around the world that may seem weird. Great post to start the challenge off with.

N. R. Williams said...

That's funny. Maybe you should introduce the game of fish where they use a magnetic fishing hook on the end of a fishing pole, over a sheet and grab magnetized fish.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Just a thought, word verification slows down comments.

J.L. Campbell said...

Fancy not knowing why a custom is observed, but sticking someone with a fish anyway. :D Makes me wonder just how many things I might be doing without knowing why I'm doing them.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Great story! I, too, would be Googling away to find out why...funny how some things happen for so long that people forget.

alexia said...

Ha, that's funny! I awoke to a house boobytrapped with lots of pranks, but no fish were involved.

laughingwolf said...

funny... i recall, as a wee guy in sweden, they said words to the effect of: april fool, you dumb herring! ...a fish connection, at least ;)lol

Tomara Armstrong said...

That is weird, but cool none-the-less. I think I will remember this next year.

I want to be the weird girl poking people with fish :-P
~2

Anne R. Allen said...

This is really important information for people planning to spend an April in Paris at some future date. Thanks for the marvelous factoid!

Nate Wilson said...

Excellent! Now I know what I'll be doing to my co-workers next April Fool's (Fish) Day.

Although, all I can think of now is Monty Python's Fish-Slapping Dance. You know what? Maybe I'll do that, too, for good measure.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I like it :D It makes for a far less on edge way to spend April Fools (from 8am-midday on April 1st I was certain I'd get pranked, so a little paranoia was my ever present friend, hehe).

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