April Fools Day takes different names and forms, but the concept of a day of pranks and silliness has been around for centuries — possibly dating back to 536 BC. Iranians treat the 13th day of the Persian new year, which falls on April 1 or 2, as a holiday for pranking familiar to much of the western world. Called Sizdah Be-dar, the holiday is focused mostly on celebrating the start of the spring season, but among its traditions is prankery.
Similar traditions are celebrated throughout the world, including in Belgium, Italy, France and French-speaking Canada, where it’s common to attach paper fish to victims’ backs surreptitiously as a joke. References to the day in these nations make direct reference to fish, such as “Pesce d’Aprile” in Italian.
Traditions vary, including the extreme practice in Belgian Flemish culture of children locking their parents out of their homes with a demand of treats in exchange for entry. Light-heartedness, though, is typically the order of the day. What better way to inspire merriment than to cavort about with a perpetual smile, a la “The Tease,” or a big silly inspector’s mustache and monocle? Check ’em out at WhiskerWorks.com, where there’s a 20% off sale through the end of March.
However you celebrate April 1, have fun!