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.

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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!!!

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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).

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How did you celebrate il pesce d’aprile?

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Sentieri contributors: Gisella Faggi and Martin Reader

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