April Fools Day for Kids
Greeks would have loved April Fool's Day. They so adored being clever.
I can easily imagine the ancient Athenians concocting their plots and
chanting their victories, and the ancient Spartans rigging their barracks
and roaring with laughter. A special day put aside just for trickery, with
everyone forewarned that others were out to fool them...the challenge of
it would have greatly appealed to the ancient Greeks.
But, they did not create this holiday. The
history of April Fool's Day goes back to the 16th century.
all over the world, on the first day in April, April Fool's is a day where
tricks are played on people in a spirit of fun. Anyone who plays a mean
trick is just being mean. For the rest of us, April Fool's Day is a
challenging game of trickery!
In France, April 1st
is called "Poisson d'Avril." French kids play a special game on
this day. The object of the game is to tape a paper fish on someone's back
without that person noticing. When the victim spots the fish taped to
their back, the kids yell "Poisson d’Avril!" (April Fish!)
In Belgium, Egyptologist, Jacques Kinnaer,
shared: "I can add to your explanation of the French "April
Fish". The expression "April Fish", in my region of the
country (in Belgium), not only applies to the paper (or real) fish being
stuck to someone's back, but to the tricks played on that day in general.
If I played a prank on you on April 1st, the expression would be
(translated into English) that I've baked you an April's Fish. Even the
media (press and radio) try to bake an April's Fish by adding something
untrue to the news.
A couple of years ago, for instance, there was an
announcement that a new piece of paper money would be made, with the image
of Dirk Frimout (our famous Belgian astronaut!) That was a prank, but many
people believed it."
In India, Sudneer
Birodkar, an Indian novelist and
ancient Indian historian, shared with us the following:
"April Fools Day as such
is not a traditional festival in India. But from times immemorial there
has been a festival called Holi or Holikotsava celebrated in March/April.
This comes somewhat close to all fools day. Holi or Holikotsava is
celebrated over two days. On the evening of the first day bonfires are
lit, normally in a public place. On the second day people throw coloured
powder and water at each other."
"Holi centers around a
bonfire. Weeks before the arrival of Holi, gangs comb the
neighbourhood and collect all waste-wood, old wooden furniture etc. which
they can lay their hands upon. After weeks of preparation judiciously
combined with activities that come close to pillaging, assorted pieces of
wood are piled up to be lit on the evening of the festival day."
In Newfoundland, Bruce
Lane, a Newfoundland nature and wild life photographer and teacher,
shared: "Yes we do celebrate April Fool's Day in Newfoundland! The
custom is that until noon you can trick people with lies and
For example, one morning a local radio station reported
seeing a herd of seals far up an inland river. They reported the story
several times until noon when they informed the audience it was an April
In the United States,
April 1st is a day set aside to play small, clever tricks on people.
Placing salt in the sugar bowl when no one is looking is not a real trick.
Where's the cleverness in that? (The ancient
Greeks would have turned up their noses at such a pathetic attempt.) A
real April Fool's trick takes thought, creativity, timing, and a bit of
There are rules to this game. Your trick must be harmless, your
victim must believe you, and your trickery must make your victim at least
smile (or better yet, laugh) when you shout "April Fool's!"
Otherwise, it does not qualify as an April Fool's Day trick.
Fools Games & Activities for Kids