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April 1, 2013 by tonyberkman

Diary of an Internet Nobody.

If you watch the opening sequence of John Frankenheimer’s 1975 movie French Connection II(second rate, fictionalised sequel to William Friedkin’s ’71 classic true crime thriller} you’ll see Gene Hackman’s Popeye Doyle lumbering around Marseilles fish market as children scamper about sticking paper fish to people’s backs, including Doyle’s.

image

“Does my halibut look big in this?”

This is the French tradition of Poisson d’Avril, the equivalent of our April fools day, and refers not only to the “April’s fish” stuck to an unsuspecting fool’s back, but to any other pranks that are successfully pulled that day.

The tradition of getting one over on your mates at the start of spring has been around for hundreds, even thousands of years.
The oldest known example of a long running tradition of pranks played on a certain day is from Iran, where as far back as two and half thousand years ago…

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