Poisson d'avril

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 20:25:17 GMT

From: dsephton@rmplc.co.uk (David Sephton)

Voici, en anglais, des origines possibles.

David

 

In Scotland "April Fool" is called "a gowk" (= a cuckoo).

In India similar tricks are played at the Hindu Festival on 31 March, so
that it cannot refer to the uncertainty of the weather, nor yet to the
mockery of the trial of our Redeemer - which are the two most popular
explanations.

A better solution is this: as 25 March used to be New Year's Day, April 1
was its octave, when its festivities culminated and ended.

It may be a relic of the Roman "Cerealia", held at the beginning of April.

The tale is that Proserpina was sporting in the Elysian meadows, and had
just filled her lap with daffodils, when Pluto carried her off to the lower
world.

Her mother, Ceres, heard the echo of her screams, and went in search of the
voice. But her search was a fool's errand, it was "hunting the gowk", or
looking for the "echo of a scream".