It's No Joke!  

By Laura Smrcka, Associate Director

As April Fools Day approaches, it has me thinking about the traditions surrounding the holiday in America. It's the one day a year where we are not only allowed, but encouraged to "fool" our loved ones. Ever wonder if it's celebrated around the world? Turns out, it is, in one way or another. 

In France, the holiday is known as Poisson d’Avril, which translates to April Fish. Apparently, school children will tape a picture of a fish on the back of an unsuspecting classmate and wait for it to be discovered. 

In Iran, the 13th day of the Persian New Year usually falls on April 1st or 2nd. Pranks have reportedly been played on this holiday since 536 BC, making it possibly the oldest known joke day. 

In Portugal, the Sunday and Monday prior to Lent is when they celebrate, and it's said that throwing flour on someone is a common prank. 

These are the types of traditions that our students learn about and share with their American host families every year. Want in on the fun? Click on the "Host an Exchange Student" tab for more information and consider hosting.