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Desert Diary
Culture/April Fish


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This year, April 1st comes on the 28th of December. Well, that is, if you live in Mexico. It's really the spirit of April 1st that we're talking about, though—April Fool's Day. Possibly originating in France in the middle of the 16th century, April Fool's Day, or All Fool's Day if you prefer, eventually spread to numerous other countries. including the United States, as a day on which you played, and were the recipient of, pranks. If you really don't want to be an April Fool, feel free to adopt French culture and become a Poisson d'Avril—an April Fish.

Although Mexico doesn't recognize April Fool's Day as such, the spirit lives on there, too. Originating as El Dia de los Inocentes, celebrated on the 28th of December, it once was a religious remembrance of the Biblical story of the slaughtering of innocent children by order of Herod. In one of those strange quirks that pops up every now and again, this once sad day of reflection has mutated into the Mexican counterpart of our All Fool's Day.
pen and ink


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.



Web Resources

April Fools.