April Fools’ around the world

By Anais Engler |@anaisengler, Daily Egyptian

Today is April 1, the only day lies are without consequence, pranking your roommate is mandatory and announcing bad news to your family is funny. 

The origin of April Fools’ Day is not well defined, but this fun tradition exists worldwide and the ways people celebrate changes from one location to another.

Yu Ting Ching, a senior from Taipei, Taiwan, studying psychology, said in her country people make mostly harmless jokes to friends and family all day. 


“For example, our teachers can start the class by announcing a quiz and everyone gets scared,” she said.  

However, it is also an occasion to tell the truth.

“It is the time you can go and say to someone you have feeling for him or her, and then say it is a joke even if it is not,” Ching said.

If there are jokes made in the media, it is about daily things, like a false advertisement for a store’s sale she said.

But most of the jokes are made online, on social networks and blogs.

Felipe Tabushi, a junior from Curitiba, Brazil, studying medicine, said these jokes are made on “dia da mentira,” the day of the lie.

“Most of the entertainment blogs do something funny on that day, even if they already make jokes all year,” he said.

But this tradition also includes jokes in real life.

“It is the time you can make your parents or your friends believe everything,” he said.

Tabushi said there are also common traditions among young people.

“We used to write down words and stick them on the back of our friends in junior high and even in high school,” he said. 

“Dia de los inocentes,” or the day of the naïve, is celebrated in Spain on Dec. 28 along with the rest of the Hispanic world, said Beatriz Gomez Perez-Gorostiaga, a senior from Pontevedra, Spain, studying electrical engineering.

“Usually kids go to prank store on that day and buy things to scare family still together during Christmas time,” she said. 

Perez-Gorostiaga said there are also media-based jokes at the expense of celebrities.

“In Spain there is also this TV program on the main national channel that pranks celebrities,” she said. “It is pretty funny.”

Perez-Gorostiaga said kids and teenagers place little human-shaped pieces of paper on the backs of their friends. 

When they figure it out everyone shouts and laughs, she said.

Kids and teenagers can find these figures for free on the main street’s candy shop of their town.

In France, people celebrate it the same way but on April 1. The game is to secretly stick little pieces of paper shaped like fish on someone and when they figure it out everyone shouts “Poisson d’Avril,” or April’s fish.

April Fools’ Day is present everywhere, at different times of the year and in different ways but worldwide, it remains as the day to gently scare people and share a laugh.