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Exclusive: interview with April Fools

Reading time : 3 minutes

Where does April Fool's Day come from? When and how does the tradition of jokes on the 1er April was she born? Why a fish? All these questions, the drafting of Aquae put them to the principal concerned ...

April Fools, how old are you and where are you from?

I am often told that I am not my age, but I was born in France, in the year of grace 1564. Well, like many people in the XVIe century, I am not 100% sure of the date. There weren't really any birth certificates. But that's what I've always been told: 1564. I'll let you do the math ...

At the time, the country was ruled by King Charles IX, son of Catherine de Médicis and Henri II. He was 14 years old in 1564. So when I hear you say that your President is young, it makes me laugh! In short. In 1564, a crucial decision will be taken. She will change a lot of things. And cause my arrival on Earth.

At the beginning of January of that year, Charles IX begins his grand tour of France. A journey during which he makes a surprising discovery: the year does not start at the same time everywhere in the country. In places, it begins at Christmas. In others, it is the 1er March. For some regions, it is even Easter. Besides, in France, you may not know it, but it was customary to offer yourself presents to celebrate the transition to the New Year. So, with all these different dates, the French gave each other gifts between Christmas and Easter, depending on localities.

These disparities question the young Charles IX. He will therefore decide to standardize all this through the Edict of Roussillon. Promulgated on July 9, 1564, it will decree the transition to the new year at 1er January. The measure will be applied from 1567. But the tradition of gifts will persist for a while from late December to April, depending on the region. Over time, it will even become a joke: gradually, people start giving each other fake gifts to celebrate the fake New Year. This is where the tradition of making jokes on the 1ster April, from what I was told ...

The question may seem strange to you ... but why are you a fish?

Ha, the famous question of fish! I'm not completely sure about this, but I've heard a lot of rumors. One of them relates to Christian Easter holidays. The 1er April is part of Lent, a fasting period when we could not eat meat and where we ate fish. Others even claim that it has something to do with fishing season, which began in April. And at the start of the season, the fish were not easy to catch ...

You are a professional joke. What are your most famous feats of arms?

Indeed, one can say it, the hoaxes, that knows me. Some have also seen the big picture! I will never forget the 1er April 1986. The newspaper Le Parisien had announced the relocation of the Eiffel Tower to Eurodisney Park, in Marne-la-Vallée, ahead of the 1992 Olympic Games. 1992, holds! The false return of Richard Nixon who announces on the radio that he is running for the US presidential elections, 18 years after Watergate.

Or the report on spaghetti trees at the Italian-Swiss border, broadcast on the BBC in 1957… The British television channel has others to its credit. How to forget the flying penguins from 2008? 1er April of that year, the BBC airs a documentary filmed in Antarctica about the penguins Adélie. We discover an incredible phenomenon: penguins that take flight by beating their fins! Obviously faked images: it was actually Monty Python Terry Jones, encrusted in synthetic images.

And you, what is your best weapon? Do not hesitate to share your best (or your worst) April Fools, in the comments at the bottom of the page 🔽!

We will be happy to share the funniest ones on our networks 🐠…

© Olga Yastremska, New Africa, Africa Studio

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