Sue Bradham, this post was published with you in mind. You are a loyal reader -- I am blessed to have you in my life and I am grateful that you are not the only one. Thank you for inquiring if and when I would return to blogging. As of April 1st I am rededicating myself to blogging about tatting more regularly.
It’s the tradition in France to play practical jokes on friends and announce "Poisson d’Avril!" when they discover the joke. Often, the prank is just a paper fish taped on the back of your friend, when you pretend to give them a pat on the back. Très drôle, non?
Did you know that April Fools' Day is also International Tatting Day? I decided to draw attention to this tatting holiday two days early in the hopes of encouraging more participation. This year I will be attending a lace guild meeting as well as frequenting a yarn shop that promotes tatting!
In 1582 AD, the Council of Trent switched from the Julian to Gregorian calendars. This declaration meant that the new year was celebrated on January 1st. Before then, as you might have guessed, the new year was marked on April 1st. It’s quite understandable that some people would go through their life unaware that the change had been set in motion.
It would not be hard to imagine people celebrating the new year incorrectly on April 1st for some time after the declaration. And we even know that these people were referred to as “poissons d’avril”, or the easily caught fish of April, in France. It’s a fairly clear accusation that a person who’s been a bit slow on the uptake should be mocked on April 1st. In fact, we even know that people placed paper fish on the backs of anyone who made such a mistake.
April Fools’ Day is a day of celebration of unpredictability. We tatters celebrate our beloved lace-making art on this day, International Tatting Day. Unlike the unfortunate folk of old, who were not aware of the calendar change, tatters anticipate with glee and prepare projects for our special day!
It is also customary to indulge in delicious chocolates in the shape of fishes. Who doesn't like to join in on the chocolate-fish fun?
While very few tatters associate April 1st with fishy pranks, every one of us embrace efforts to bring a smile to the faces of our friends and family. And eat chocolate in any and all shapes or forms!
I typically tat a small fish on this day. If an unwitting target is found, I attempt to tape a paper fish on said target's back and declare "Poisson d'Avril!" My kid (who, after 14 years or more of his mother's thinly veiled ruses) is wise to this trick. If all else fails I can trick the dog! Hee, hee!
Poisson d’avril – April fish – is what French people say for ‘April Fools’ day’-- so in two days I hope you embrace the day, eat delicious chocolate (whether or not it is fish-shaped) and tat to your heart's content!
A French April Fools' Day prank on the kitty: https://youtu.be/kGRYO3eDUIA