Posts Tagged ‘april fools day’
If you’re planning a holiday in France during the month of April, and your stay falls over the first day of the month, we feel it is our duty to give you the heads up of what to expect…
That’s right! Those cunning Gauls believe that the great April Fools’ Day tradition of playing pranks dates back to French practical jokers. And to celebrate the antics of their forefathers, the country practices one of the weirdest April Fools’ Day traditions- pining paper fish to each others’ backs. They have also given the day is own name: Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish.
The tradition is centuries old and is believed to have started in 1564 under the reign of Charles IX. Back then, Easter Day was either 25th March or April 1st, and it was customary to exchange little presents. Even after the official New Year date was changed to January 1st, the tradition stayed in place.
Quite why a fish is given has been heavily debated. Some experts think that it’s because April marks the start of spring when many new creatures, including fish, are born. Others believe that it’s because the date falls under the star sign of Pisces.
Whatever its origins, April 1st is a green light for mischief and is also widely celebrated within the French media. We wonder if journalists can beat the prank they pulled last year. In a nation full of football-lovers, the national football team’s coach, Raymond Domenech, gave fans a fright by saying in a video blog that his team had decided to give the Euro 2008 championships a miss.
If your French isn’t half bad, you can watch the clip here:
French sports daily, L’Equipe, ran a full-page spoof advertisement by car maker, Citroen, introducing a “Universal Steering Wheel” – capable of switching from left- to right-hand driving positions at the touch of a button so English drivers could navigate their way round the country.
The UK press also made a dig in return by focusing on one of their most popular figures: President Sarkozy.
The Sun printed a story under the headline “Docs to Stretch Sarkozy,” which described how the President, who wears built-up heels when skipping around Paris with his willowy ex-model wife Carla Bruni, was to have pioneering stretch surgery in a bid to make him taller.
The Sun even provided photos and a “How it Works” graphic showing a man on a torture-style stretching bed, but sneakily listed the government spokesman as “Luc Bigger.”
Playing on France’s reputation for sophistication, the Guardian reported that Prime Minister Gordon Brown had enlisted Carla Bruni-Sarkozy to give Britons lessons on style.
Finally, The Sun also announced that there were plans to encourage British parents “to serve small volumes of red wine with meals to children as young as seven or eight,” in a piece bylined Avril de Poisson -a play on the French for April Fool.
If you are thinking of booking a short break in France in April, look no further than a p&v property, which are a great self-catering option for families or groups who are looking for a affordable break in France.
You can currently save up to 30% on your July holiday in France when you book a two-week stay (14 nights) in a range of their residences between 18/07/09 and 01/08/09. Prices are based on 4 people sharing for two weeks. Destinations include Normandy, Brittany and Cote D’Azur.