PoIsson d’avril 1ᵉʳ Avril ▫ 1st April
In France, until 1564, the first of April used to be New Year’s Day. • Then, the King Charles IX decided to change the calendar and put the beginning of the year in January…
In that time, people used to give each other presents for New Year. When the day changed, people kept on giving presents in April. • Because it wasn’t the real beginning of the year anymore, they decided to give fake presents and do tricks and jokes instead !!
In Catholic religion, Easter is the end of Lent, when it was prohibited to eat meat, so people used to eat fish, which was a common present in the old days. This is where the fake fish tradition comes from !
Every time they manage to trick an adult, they run away shouting out “Poisson d'avril!”
Adults make jokes as well and announce fake information • Fake media announcements are often made for Poisson D’avril! • Here is an example BREAKING NEWS! President François Hollande is to change his last name. “I’ve had enough of the confusion created by my last name” said France’s president to a TF1 reporter. The president has not yet disclosed his chosen last name, but rumor has it that he may choose “de France”, since “de Gaulle” has already been used…Brought to comment on this exceptional measure, Marie Le Pen cried out “Poisson d’Avril !!!” (Long live the April fools)
Vocabulary • Une farce : a practical joke, a prank • Uneblague : a joke (physical or verbal) • Une histoire drôle : a joke, a funny story (only verbal) • Un jeu de mot : a pun • Faire une farce : to make a joke • Blaguer : to joke (je blague) • Drôle, amusant, poilant (slang), comique, cocasse (very formal) : funny • Sourire : to smile Le sourire : smile * Rire : to laugh
Vocabulary • Un fourire : when you cannot stop laughing • Hurler de rire : to laugh really hard and loud (!! nothing to do with ‘to hurl’) • Éclater de rire : to burst in laughter, to start laughing really hard • Pleurer de rire : to cry from laughter • Se taper unebarre (de rire) – to laugh till it hurts (a new expressions used by the younger crowd nowadays) • Je suis… mort(e) de rire (dead laughing), pété(e) de rire (farted from laughing) MDR, PTR = LOL
READING PRACTICE ◊ FRENCH POEM
J'ai vuUn poisson marronQui mangeait un bonbon...Ah bon ! Ah bon !J'ai vuUn poisson bleuQui mangeait des oeufs...Ah bon ! Ah bon !J'ai vu Un poisson violetQui mangeait du poulet...Ah bon ! Ah bon !J'ai vu Un poisson vertQui mangeait un courant d'air...Ah bon ! Ah bon!J'ai vuUn poisson blancQui mangeait la pluie et le temps...Ah non ! Ah non !Pour jouer je veux du temps ! Ihab Shaker