April Fools in Ukraine ― Date, History, and Details

April Fools in Ukraine

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History of April Fools in Ukraine and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

In Ukraine, April Fools’ Day is called Sytin den’ (Ситин день). On this day, people play practical jokes on each other. The most common prank is to put a paper fish on someone’s back. This is done by secretly attaching the fish to the person’s clothing with tape. When the victim discovers the fish, they are said to be “caught.” Other popular pranks include putting salt in someone’s coffee or hiding someone’s keys.

Sytin den’ is named after Saint Sytny, a 9th-century monk who was known for his sense of humor. According to legend, Sytny once played a practical joke on the Devil himself. As the story goes, the Devil came to visit Sytny in the form of a beautiful woman. Sytny pretended to be fooled and invited the woman into his cell. Once the Devil was inside, Sytny locked the door and began to pray. The Devil was so enraged that he fled the cell and has not returned since.

April Fools’ Day in Ukraine is a relatively new holiday. It only became widely celebrated in the 1990s, after the fall of communism. Before that, practical jokes were considered to be a bourgeois pastime and were frowned upon by the authorities.