You know one of the best parts of visiting another country is learning new traditions and how they’re similar or different around the world. April fools in Paris is a little different and it is called, “Poisson d’ Avril” (The Fish of April).
On this day, school children adore sticking elaborately-colored fish on the backs of their classmates (and sometimes, parents), thinking up plots to do without being caught.
Once the “victim” realizes there is a fish taped to his or her back, the others cry out “Poisson d’ Avril” and everybody has a good laugh.
Just what is the origin of this fishy-Paris tradition? As with many French Easter traditions, it is based on the Christian calendar. April 1st was often the end of Lent, a period in which Christians gave up meat and had to substitute fish for their main protein, to offer a fake fish on April 1st was way of making fun of all the fish one was obligated to eat over the Lenten period and a way to make light of the serious nature of Lent.
If you are fond of browsing Paris flea markets and antique shows, be on the lookout for early 20th-century postcards that feature drawings of fish, these were also exchanged as gifts on April 1st, and are quite valuable finds today..
Sign up to our mailing list to get updated on new tours, blogs, and fun Paris trip ideas. You can unsubscribe if we bore you.
See the classic sights of Paris with this collection of Private Tours and other experiences. Great for New Travelers.
Taste the latest Paris Food experiences with our personal and tasty private food tours. Learn to make authentic Parisian meals, taste chocolate assortments, or…
Experience immersive music tours in Paris. Sit and listen up close to an award-winning Master Pipe Organist or learn about the history of Jazz in Paris on a private tour!
Some parts of France can’t be put into a 2 or 3-hour tour and some just take a while to get to. Venture out of Paris on an exciting Day Trip.
From perfume to WW2, our private history tours are a way to see Paris in a different light.
Experience some of the most significant works of art in Paris on a Private Art Tour. Learn about the story’s of the painters behind the works and ask questions along the way.
Looking for something particular? We’ll help you find it in Paris. Our private shopping tours include Antiques, Wardrobe, and more!
The Château de Fontainebleau, just 35 miles southeast of central Paris, can proudly claim to have been a sovereign residence for eight centuries. Capétiens, Valois, Bourbons, Bonaparte and Orléans, all members of French ruling dynasties, have lived within these walls. The chateau dates back to 1137—and centuries of royals have expanded this former royal hunting lodge to a more than 1,500-room estate. Most of what you’ll see dates back to the 16th century, a combination of Italian Renaissance art and French design, these rooms are some of the most intricate and breathtaking in France. If times allows, you can enjoy lunch in this charming area.
Tour Length: 5 – 6 hours