April Fools’ Day as we know it in the UK is a day dedicated for pranks, jokes and all round a bit of fun or “banter” as we like to refer to it. We have all been victim to it at some point in our lives, whether believing cows that snack on strawberries can give us strawberry milk, being tricked by your friend’s that your school was on fire so you didn’t have to come in or falling for a prank that your sister took the wrong bus and is lost and needs help. It’s all in the name of fun on the first of April every year.
But do you know how they celebrate April Fools’ Day in other parts of the world? Perhaps they don’t have the same sense of peculiar and dry humour that us Brits have but check out some other weird and wonderful ways that it’s celebrated around the world.
We could definitely put up with a few pranks if it meant spending the first of April in Brazil, or ‘o dia das mentiras’ the day of lies as it’s typically known. It can also be referred to ‘dia dos bobos’ the day of fools. This holiday took off thanks to an article in a Brazilian newspaper called ‘A Mentira’, apparently faking someones death (hysterical right?) and the spoof articles continued annually from then on. The first report came from them back in 1828 – who knew they had that much craic back in the day!
Brazilians say that April Fools’ is a day for ‘brincadeiras’ or pranks as we know it. This name comes from the verb ‘brincar’, to play. And with the playful Brazilian nature it’s widely celebrated by pranking friends, family and loved ones with silly jokes or sometimes with morbid tales of fake deaths. Think that one can stay in Brazil!
So the story tells that if you manage to pull off a successful prank that you will receive good fortune for the full year. Well that’s one way to encourage these tricksters!
They also must have something against gardeners because there is another belief that if you chose to dig on the first of April then you are essentially digging your own grave, Obviously.
Another less morbid theory is that rainwater is seen as extremely lucky and valuable, so much so, that some even collect the rainwater in jugs so that they can drink it throughout that year. “Pass that good old April the 1st rainwater, I’m feeling rather parched” – said by all Greeks, all year round.
When it comes to the first of April in France, French children participate by sticking a paper fish onto as many adults’ backs as possible. We kind of love this foolishness and it encourages kids to get creative with a kind of ‘who coloured it best’ competition. The name of the day is ‘poisson d’avril’ (April Fish) which dates back all the way to 1564.
Apparently the French New Year was celebrated on the first of April until somewhere around the mid-16th century. When King Charles IX changed the date to the first of January and people were not happy about it. Some of the people dismissed the change and continued to celebrate the New Year on the first of April. Unfortunately for them, they were the laugh of the town and were mocked for not keeping up with the times.
As the date coincided with lent and religion forbid eating meat at this time, fish was a popular choice. The big joke started when people used to trick each other with fake fish and that’s how the whole ‘poisson d’avril’ name came around. Hopefully they weren’t all clown fish though #badjoke.
‘April, April’ literally meaning April, April but said with a German accent, is what you will hear Germans exclaiming on April the 1st to let you know that they were just messing with you after a hilarious – or not so hilarious – prank.
The joke is known as ‘Aprilscherz’ and the victims are usually the joker’s family, friends, and colleagues. Even newspapers, television and radio stations get involved in the fun and create little white lies to trick their audience. It must be that strong and serious German voice over that makes it so believable.
Whether you are looking for a fun, playful, warm, engaging or serious sounding voice to record we have them all here and in over 80 languages to choose from.