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April Arrives.

April

April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the fifth in the early Julian, the first of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the second of five months to have a length of less than 31 days.

April is commonly associated with the season of autumn in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, and spring in parts of the Northern Hemisphere , where it is the seasonal equivalent to October in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.

History

The Romans gave this month the Latin name Aprilis but the derivation of this name is uncertain. The traditional etymology is from the verb aperire, “to open”, in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to “open”, which is supported by comparison with the modern Greek use of άνοιξη (ánixi) (opening) for spring. Since some of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities, and as April was sacred to the goddess Venus, her Veneralia being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her equivalent Greek goddess name Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name ApruJacob Grimm suggests the name of a hypothetical god or hero, Aper or Aprus.

April was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar, before Ianuarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC. It became the fourth month of the calendar year (the year when twelve months are displayed in order) during the time of the decemvirs about 450 BC, when it also was given 29 days. The 30th day was added during the reform of the calendar undertaken by Julius Caesar in the mid-40s BC, which produced the Julian calendar.

The Anglo-Saxons called April ēastre-monaþ. The Venerable Bede says in The Reckoning of Time that this month ēastre is the root of the word Easter. He further states that the month was named after a goddess Eostre whose feast was in that month. It is also attested by Einhard in his work, Vita Karoli Magni.

St George‘s day is the twenty-third of the month; and St Mark‘s Eve, with its superstition that the ghosts of those who are doomed to die within the year will be seen to pass into the church, falls on the twenty-fourth.

In China the symbolic ploughing of the earth by the emperor and princes of the blood took place in their third month, which frequently corresponds to April. In Finnish April is huhtikuu, meaning slash-and-burn moon, when gymnosperms for beat and burn clearing of farmland were felled.

In Slovene, the most established traditional name is mali traven, meaning the month when plants start growing. It was first written in 1466 in the Škofja Loka manuscript.

The month Aprilis had 30 days; Numa Pompilius made it 29 days long; finally Julius Caesar’s calendar reform made it again 30 days long, which was not changed in the calendar revision of Augustus Caesar in 8 BC.

In Ancient Rome, the festival of Cerealia was held for seven days from mid-to-late April, but exact dates are uncertain. Feriae Latinae was also held in April, with the date varying. Other ancient Roman observances include Veneralia (April 1), Megalesia (April 10–16), Fordicidia (April 15), Parilia (April 21), Vinalia UrbanaRobigalia, and Serapia were celebrated on (April 25). Floraliawas held April 27 during the Republican era, or April 28 on the Julian calendar, and lasted until May 3. However, these dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.

The Lyrids meteor shower appears on April 16 – April 26 each year, with the peak generally occurring on April 22. Eta Aquariids meteor shower also appears in April. It is visible from about April 21 to about May 20 each year with peak activity on or around May 6. The Pi Puppids appear on April 23, but only in years around the parent comet’s perihelion date. The Virginids also shower at various dates in April.

The “Days of April” (journées d’avril) is a name appropriated in French history to a series of insurrections at Lyons, Paris and elsewhere, against the government of Louis Philippe in 1834, which led to violent repressive measures, and to a famous trial known as the procès d’avril.

April symbols

April observances

Month-long observances

United States

United States Food months[edit]

Non-Gregorian observances: 2018

Movable observances, 2018 dates

First Saturday:

First full week:

First Sunday:
First Wednesday:

Second Sunday:

Week of April 14:

Second Wednesday:
Second Thursday:
Second Friday of April

Third Saturday

Third Monday

Third Wednesday

First Thursday after April 18

Third Thursday

Week of April 23

Week of the New Moon

Last full week of April

Last Monday
Wednesday of last full week of April
Last Wednesday
April 27 (moves to April 26 if April 27 is on a Sunday)
Fourth Thursday
Last Friday

Last Friday in April to first Sunday in May

Last Saturday
Last Sunday

Movable Western Christian observances – 2018

Easter Week
Post Easter

Movable Eastern Christian observances – 2018

Fixed observances

April Is What “National Month”?

How Businesses Can Celebrate the Month of April

Many countries adopt causes or special interest groups to highlight and promote during given calendar months. The U.S. is particularly prolific at creating “national month” events to promote business and other interests. April is one of the few months that doesn’t have a long list of ridiculous observations, although there are a good many national month observances in the spring. Compare this to July, which actually honors Lasagna Awareness Month.

The following events, industries, causes and emotions—yes, emotions—are observed month-long in April unless otherwise indicated. Even cannabis, Florida tomatoes, celery and soft pretzels are honored…all month long.

April is “National Month” Calendar for:

  • African-American Women’s Fitness Month
  • Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Amateur Radio Month
  • American Cancer Society Month
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
  • Black Women’s History Month
  • Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
  • Celebrate Diversity Month
  • Community Service Month
  • Confederate History Month
  • Distracted Driving Awareness Month
  • Financial Literacy Month
  • Fresh Florida Tomato Month
  • IBS Awareness Month
  • Jewish-American Heritage Month
  • Keep America Beautiful Month
  • Lawn and Garden Month
  • Mathematics Awareness Month
  • Month of the Military Child
  • National Autism Awareness Month
  • National Better Hearing and Speech Month
  • National Canine Fitness Month
  • National Cannabis Awareness Month
  • National Car Care Awareness Month
  • National Child Abuse Awareness Month
  • National Couple Appreciation Month
  • National Deaf History Month (March 13 to April 15)
  • National Decorating Month
  • National Donate Life Awareness Month
  • National Fair Housing Month
  • National Food Month
  • National Fresh Celery Month
  • National Garden Month
  • National Humor Month
  • National Internship Awareness Month
  • National Inventor’s Month
  • National Jazz Appreciation Month
  • National Landscape Architecture Month
  • National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (last full week in April)
  • National Mental Health Month
  • National Month of Hope
  • National Multiple Birth Awareness Month
  • National Occupational Therapy Month
  • National Older Americans Month
  • National Parkinson’s Awareness Month
  • National Pecan Month
  • National Poetry Month
  • National Safe Digging Month
  • National Siblings Day (April 10)
  • National Soft Pretzel Month
  • National Soy Foods Month
  • National STDs Education and Awareness Month
  • National Straw Hat Month
  • National Volunteer Month
  • National Welding Month
  • Occupational Therapy Month
  • Pets are Wonderful Month
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
  • Records and Information Management Month
  • Scottish-American Heritage Month
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Thai Heritage Month
  • Women’s Health Care Month

International and One-Day Observances

Lest we forget the participation of other countries, here are a few international honorees, as well as some causes that are observed elsewhere:

  • April is International Guitar Month, recognized in several countries.
  • Ontario, Canada recognizes April as Sikh Heritage Month.
  • April is National Pet Month in the United Kingdom, although the U.S. waits until May to honor its non-human family members.
  • International Pillow Fight Day arrives on April 2 in 2018.
  • World Autism Awareness Day also falls on April 2 in 2018.
  • World Health Day is April 8, 2018.

English Language Month *

National Month of Hope *

National Canine Fitness Month

National Internship Awareness Month

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

National Child Abuse Awareness Month

National Donate Life Awareness Month

National Cannabis Awareness Month

National Fair Housing Month

Month of the Military Child

International Guitar Month

Keep America Beautiful Month

Lawn and Garden Month

National Autism Awareness Month

National Couple Appreciation Month

National Decorating Month

National Fresh Celery Month

National Garden Month

National Humor Month

National Landscape Architecture Month

National Inventor’s Month

National Jazz Appreciation Month

National Soft Pretzel Month

National Soy Foods Month

National Straw Hat Month

National Poetry Month

National Pecan Month

National Volunteer Month

National Welding Month

Occupational Therapy Month

Records and Information Management Month

Scottish-American Heritage Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month

National Safe Digging Month

THE MONTH OF APRIL 2018: HOLIDAYS, FUN FACTS, FOLKLORE

April 2018 is the first full month of spring! We hope that your sky is bright and clear and your grass is growing green. In celebration, check out the month’s holidays, recipes, gardening tips, and folklore.

APRIL CALENDAR

Oh, how fresh the wind is blowing!
See! The sky is bright an clear,
Oh, how green the grass is growing!
April! April! Are you here?

–Dora R. Goodale (1866–1953)

The Latin word aperio, meaning “to open or bud,” gives us the name April. Spring festivals celebrate the season’s renewal of life.

April 1 is Easter Sunday. (April 8 is Orthodox Easter.)  See how the Easter date is determined.

April 22 is Earth Day.  To celebrate, see some Earth Day ideas and activities.

April 27 is National Arbor Day. Find out who started Arbor Day and how we observe this day honoring trees.

On the 24th of April, we celebrate the birthday of Robert B. Thomas, the founder of The Old Farmer’s Almanac!

See our monthly calendar page for more holidays and events.

April is National Humor Month!

Begun in 1976 by humorist Larry Wilde, this observance serves ot heighten public awareness of humor’s health benefits. Laughter has been shown to reduce stress and pain, relax muscles, boost morale, strengthen the immune system, increase blood flow, and enrich the quality of life overall. To get the month off to a healthy start, can you answer this riddle?

Q: Which is heavier, a half Moon or a full Moon?

A: The half Moon because the full Moon is twice as light.

APRIL WEATHER

A cold April, the bar will fill.

This month brings us some capricious weather!  April rains bring verdant pastures, but also umbrellas and rain boots!

See your 7-day forecast and long-range weather forecast to plan ahead!

RECIPES FOR THE SEASON

Springtime brings the first crops of the season. See a few recipes below:
Cream of Fiddlehead Soup
Spring Vegetable Salad
Sorrel Linguine With Spring Peas, Green Garlic, and Fresh Ricotta

See all our Spring Recipe Collection using seasonal ingredients from across North America!

EVERYDAY ADVICE

Are you daunted by the thought of a top-to-bottom spring cleaning? Here are some tips to help.
Make Your Own Cleaners
Homemade Cleaners for Carpet, Floor, Glass, Drains
Fix House Problems

BIRDS & FISHING

Enjoy the signs of spring!
Creating a Bird-Friendly Habitat
What Birds Have You Seen? (Blog)
Best Fishing Days for April

SKY WATCH

The Full Pink Moon rises the evening of April 29, 2018. See what’s special about the Full Moon for April.

Find more night sky highlights at our April Sky Watch.

APRIL BIRTH SYMBOLS

April’s birth flower is the daisy or sweet pea. See birth flower meanings.

April’s birthstone is the diamond. See birthstone meanings.

A few fun facts about diamonds:

  • The diamond, composed solely of carbon, is the hardest gemstone and can be cut only by another diamond. Although often colorless, it also may appear in yellow, brown, red, pink, orange, blue, or green, from pale to intense; the more saturated the hue, the more valuable the stone.
  • Diamonds form about 90 miles deep in Earth, at tremendous pressure.
  • This gem is a symbol of everlasting love and was once thought to protect against poison.
  • The largest known diamond is 2,500 miles wide and weighs approximately 10 billion trillion trillion carats. A crystallized white dwarf star, it is located in the constellation Centaurus, about 50 light-years from Earth. It is nicknamed “Lucy,” after the Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”

THIS MONTH IN HISTORY

Light the Signal!

In April 1775, it became apparent that the British in Boston were planning a campaign to seize arms, ammunition, and other stores stockpiled by American patriots in Concord, Massachusetts, and possibly, to arrest members of the illegal Provincial Congress. The question was, Which route would the British take from Boston to Concord?

In mid-April, Paul Revere, as a member of the Sons of Liberty Committee of Safety, arranged with the sexton of Boston’s Old North Church, Robert Newman, for a simple system of signals: the number of lanterns lit in the belfry would indicate how the British would be advancing toward Concord. One lantern would signify that the British would come by land, via Boston Neck; two lanterns, that they would come by water, by first crossing the Charles River to Cambridge.

On the evening of April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren summoned Revere and told him that the British planned to move that night, going by way of the Charles River. He asked Revere to travel to Lexington to warn leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock that their imminent arrest was likely.

After the meeting, Revere set plans in motion for two lanterns to be lit in the Old North Church. (Robert Newman and vestryman Captain John Pulling carried the lanterns to the steeple while Thomas Bernard stood watch outside.) Then, after a brief stop at home to dress appropriately, Revere was rowed across the Charles River, after which he traveled to Charlestown to meet with the Sons of Liberty to ensure that they saw the signal. He next borrowed a horse and headed off to Lexington, on his famous “midnight ride.”

Other patriots, including William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, spread the news along other routes.

Paul Revere’s Ride

The 1861 poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which begins with Listen, my children, and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, contains historical inaccuracies. For example, Revere did not cry out his alarm through the nighttime ride, but spread the news as quietly as possible. He was on a secret mission and had to avoid British patrols.

Although he narrowly avoided several encounters, his luck ran out when he, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott traveled to Concord to ensure that the military stores there had been hidden. Along the way, they were stopped by a patrol. Dawes, and later Prescott, escaped, but Revere was recaptured and questioned, often at gunpoint, for hours; he never made it to Concord. Prescott did, however, alerting the militia there.

On April 19, in the wee hours of the morning, Revere, along with a few other prisoners, was returned to Lexington and released. He then went over to another part of town to assist Adams and Hancock in their relocation. He was helping to move a trunk of Hancock’s that contained papers when the sound of gunshots between British troops and minutemen came from the town green. He did not know who had fired first.

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