April Fools’ Day around the world

By on April 1st, 2013

Though it may go by different names in other countries, the pranking and joking nature of the holiday remains at the core of April Fool’s Day celebrations. Here are a few examples of how the silliest day of the year is celebrated around the world:

  1. The Scottish celebrate what they call “Hunt-the-Gowk” over the course of two days. In Scotland, a gowk is a cuckoo or a fool. The first day involves sending people on phony errands, and the second day includes pulling pranks, such as pinning “kick me” signs on people’s rears.
  2. In Portugal, the holiday is celebrated on the Sunday and Monday prior to Lent. The most common prank is throwing flour on friends’ faces.
  3. Poland’s celebration of April Fools’ Day involves everyone from children to the media. In Poland, the holiday is called Pryma Aprylis, and in addition to being a day for pranks, like pouring water on people, many children dress up in costumes to celebrate.
  4. The 13th day of the Persian New Year, known as Sizdeh Bedar, usually falls on April 1 or April 2. In Iran, the holiday is celebrated by having picnics and playing tricks on friends. It is said that pranks have been pulled on this day since as early as 536 BC, which makes it perhaps the oldest known day for jokes. Green vegetables are thrown away after the Sizdeh Bedar picnic, signifing getting rid of any potential illnesses or bad luck for the coming year.
  5. In most regions in England, pranks are only allowed to be pulled in the morning. The victims of these pranks are called “noodles.”

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