Felice Pesce d’Aprile

Though its origins are hazy, April 1st is typically reserved as day for pranks, practical jokes, and general silliness. In Italy, it is no different.


Somehow, over the course of history, the fool has come to take the form of a fish in Italy. The traditional pesce d’aprile (April Fool’s joke) consists of a schoolchild trying to tape a paper cutout of a little fish, or pesciolino, to the back of an unsuspecting classmate. The children then chant “Have you seen him?” “Who?” “Il pesce d’aprile!!!


A “pesce d’aprile” cutout

While some truly elaborate hoaxes have been staged in honor of the holiday, most people celebrate it by playing practical jokes (fare uno scherzo), pulling a friend’s leg (prendere un amico in giro), telling a funny story (raccontare una barzelletta), or making silly remarks (dire sciocchezze).


How did you celebrate il pesce d’aprile?


Sentieri contributors: Gisella Faggi and Martin Reader

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