Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poisson d'Avril - Aprilvis - April Fish ... April Fool's Day

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It's April Fish Day!

Oops! We mean April Fool's Day, but there is a reason it's April Fish Day too ...


Pieter Bruegel the Elder
(Netherlandish, b. Breda ca. 1525? - d. Brussels 1569)
Big Fish Eat Little Fish , 1556
Drawing: Pen & Ink on paper.

Collection of Graphische Sammlung Albertina - Vienna, Austria.

Poisson d'Avril, on April 1st, is when French children play the traditional April Fool's trick of sticking paper fishes onto the backs of adults, then run away shouting "Poisson d'Avril!" (April Fish in english and Aprilvis in dutch). Cute!

Chocolate fish, another centuries old April tradition in France, are also given to family and friends during the month of April. Getting chocolate fish sounds like a very nice tradition to us -especially to Sacha !! ;o)

Here's another of Bruegel's Big Fish Eat Little Fish - (because we love the works of Bruegel). This is an engraving done in 1557, where, as you can see that the original drawing has been flipped:


Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Big Fish Eat Little Fish, 1557
engraver: Pieter van der Heyden (b. ca. 1530 - d. ca.1572)
publisher: Hieronymus Cock (b. Antwerp ca. 1510 - d. Antwerp 1570)
date: 1557 - Engraving - 9 x 11 5/8 in. (22.9 x 29.6 cm)
Collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, New York

(There's also a print of this engraving in the collection of The British Museum - London, England)

A little history of Poisson d’Avril (very little, or you'll get bored) :
According to most articles, (we’ve read), about Poisson d’Avril being the original April Fool’s Day, this quirky tradition’s origin can be traced back to mid-16th century France. Up until 1564, the accepted calendar was the Julian calendar, which observed the beginning of the New Year around April. However, King Charles IX , declared that France would begin using the Gregorian calendar, which moved New Year's Day to January 1 . Not everyone was pleased with the change and some continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. Folks who were caught celebrating the New Year on April 1 would be mocked as “April Fools”.

So, dear little fishies ... Happy April Fish Day!
Or, Happy April Fool's Day ... fishies!
:o)

Judy and "Sacha"
........................................

1 comment:

Meisie said...

You always come up wih the most interesting info! Thank you!

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