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.
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 Apru. Jacob 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.
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 Urbana, Robigalia, 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’s birthstone is the diamond.
- The birth flower is typically listed as either the Daisy (Bellis perennis) or the Sweet Pea.
- The zodiac signs for the month of April are Aries (until April 19) and Taurus (April 20 onwards).
- In Catholic tradition, April is the Month of the Resurrection of the Lord.
- National Pet Month (United Kingdom)
- Arab American Heritage Month
- Cancer Control Month
- Confederate History Month (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia)
- Donate Life Month
- Financial Literacy Month
- Jazz Appreciation Month
- Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month
- National Poetry Month
- National Poetry Writing Month
- National Prevent Child Abuse Month
- National Volunteer Month
- Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
United States Food months
- Fresh Florida Tomato Month
- National Food Month
- National Grilled Cheese Month
- National Pecan Month
- National Soft Pretzel Month
- National Soyfoods Month
Non-Gregorian observances: 2018
Movable observances, 2018 dates
- Crime Victims’ Rights Week (United States): April 8–14
- Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (United States: April 2–9
- Equal Pay Day (United States)
- Youth Homelessness Matters Day
- National Health Day (Kiribati)
- National Park Week (United States)
- Day of Silence (United States)
- Global Youth Service Day
- Vaccination Week In The Americas
- National Volunteer Week
- European Immunization Week
- Denim Day (International observance)
- Day of Dialogue (United States)
- Pay It Forward Day (International observance)
First full week:
- National Library Week (United States)
- National Public Health Week (United States)
- National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (United States)
- A Drop of Water Is a Grain of Gold (Turkmenistan)
- Geologists Day (former Soviet Union countries)
- Kanamara Matsuri (Kawasaki, Japan)
- Opening Day (United States)
Week of April 14:
Second Friday of April
- Fast and Prayer Day (Liberia)
- Air Force Day (Russia)
- Kamakura Matsuri at Tsurugaoka Hachiman (Kamakura, Japan), lasts until third Sunday.
- Patriots’ Day (Massachusetts, Maine, United States)
- Queen’s Official Birthday (Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha)
- Sechseläuten (Zürich, Switzerland)
First Thursday after April 18
Week of April 23
Week of the New Moon
Last full week of April
Wednesday of last full week of April
April 27 (moves to April 26 if April 27 is on a Sunday)
Last Friday in April to first Sunday in May
- Children’s Day (Colombia)
- National Rebuilding Day (United States)
- National Sense of Smell Day (United States)
- World Tai Chi and Qigong Day
- Easter: April 1 (Eastertide begins)
- Easter Monday: April 2
- Easter Tuesday: April 3 Public holiday in Tasmania.
- Easter Wednesday: April 4
- Easter Thursday: April 5
- Easter Friday: April 6
- Easter Saturday: April 7
- Divine Mercy Sunday: April 8 (Sunday after Easter)
- Jubilate Sunday: April 15 (Sunday after Divine Mercy Sunday)
- Earth Day Sunday: April 15 (some Protestant denominations, Sunday before Earth Day)
- Hocktide: April 16–17 (England) (the Monday and Tuesday in the week following the Third Sunday of Easter)
- Good Shepherd Sunday – April 22 (Fourth Sunday after Easter)
- Store Bededag – April 27 (Fourth Friday after Easter in Denmark)
- Cantate Sunday – April 29
- Palm Sunday: April 1
- Great and Holy Monday: April 2
- Great and Holy Tuesday: April 3
- Great and Holy Wednesday: April 4
- Great and Holy Thursday: April 5
- Great and Holy Friday: April 6
- Great and Holy Saturday:April 7
- Pascha: April 8
- Bright Monday: April 9
- Bright Tuesday: April 10
- Bright Wednesday: April 11
- Bright Thursday: April 12
- Bright Friday: April 13
- Bright Saturday: April 14
- Thomas Sunday: April 15
- Radonitsa (Russian Orthodox): April 16 or 17 (depends on region)
- Sunday of the Myrrhbearers: April 22
- Sunday of the Paralytic: April 29
- April 1
- April Fools’ Day
- Arbor Day (Tanzania)
- Civil Service Day (Thailand)
- Cyprus National Day (Cyprus)
- Edible Book Day
- Fossil Fools Day
- Kha b-Nisan (Assyrian people)
- National Civil Service Day (Thailand)
- Start of Testicular Cancer Awareness week (United States), April 1–7
- Season for Nonviolence January 30 – April 4
- April 2
- April 4
- April 5
- April 6
- April 7
- Flag Day (Slovenia)
- Genocide Memorial Day (Rwanda), and its related observance:
- Motherhood and Beauty Day (Armenia)
- National Beer Day (United States)
- No Housework Day
- Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day (Tanzania)
- Women’s Day (Mozambique)
- World Health Day (International observance)
- April 8
- April 9
- Anniversary of the German Invasion of Denmark (Denmark)
- Baghdad Liberation Day (Iraqi Kurdistan)
- Bataan Day or Araw ng Kagitingan (Philippines)
- Constitution Day (Kosovo)
- Day of National Unity (Georgia)
- Day of the Finnish Language (Finland)
- Feast of the Second Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law (Thelema)
- International Banshtai Tsai Day
- Martyr’s Day (Tunisia)
- National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day (United States)
- Remembrance for Haakon Sigurdsson (The Troth)
- Vimy Ridge Day (Canada)
- April 10
- April 11
- April 12
- Children’s Day (Bolivia and Haiti)
- Commemoration of first human in space by Yuri Gagarin:
- Halifax Day (North Carolina)
- National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (United States)
- National Redemption Day (Liberia)
- Walk on Your Wild Side Day
- April 13
- April 14
- ʔabusibaree (Okinawa Islands, Japan)
- Ambedkar Jayanti (India)
- Black Day (South Korea)
- Commemoration of Anfal Genocide Against the Kurds (Iraqi Kurdistan)
- Dhivehi Language Day (Maldives)
- Day of Mologa (Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia)
- Day of the Georgian language (Georgia (country))
- Season of Emancipation (April 14 to August 23) (Barbados)
- N’Ko Alphabet Day (Mande speakers)
- Pohela Boishakh (Bangladesh)
- Pana Sankranti (Odisha, India)
- Puthandu (Tamils) (India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka)
- Second day of Songkran (Thailand) (Thailand)
- Pan American Day (several countries in the Americas)
- The first day of Takayama Spring Festival (Takayama, Gifu, Japan)
- Vaisakh (Punjab (region)), (India and Pakistan)
- Youth Day (Angola)
- April 15
- Day of the Sun (North Korea).
- Hillsborough Disaster Memorial(Liverpool, England)
- Jackie Robinson Day (United States)
- National Banana Day (United States)
- Pohela Boishakh (West Bengal, India) (Note: celebrated on April 14 in Bangladesh)
- Last day of Songkran (Thailand) (Thailand)
- Tax Day, the official deadline for filing an individual tax return (or requesting an extension). (United States, Philippines)
- Universal Day of Culture
- World Art Day
- April 16
- Birthday of José de Diego (Puerto Rico, United States)
- Birthday of Queen Margrethe II (Denmark)
- Emancipation Day (Washington, D.C., United States)
- Foursquare Day (International observance)
- Memorial Day for the Victims of the Holocaust (Hungary)
- National Healthcare Decisions Day (United States)
- Remembrance of Chemical Attack on Balisan and Sheikh Wasan (Iraqi Kurdistan)
- World Voice Day
- April 17
- April 18
- April 19
- Army Day (Brazil)
- Beginning of the Independence Movement (Venezuela)
- Bicycle Day
- Dutch-American Friendship Day (United States)
- Holocaust Remembrance Day (Poland)
- Indian Day (Brazil)
- King Mswati III’s birthday (Swaziland)
- Landing of the 33 Patriots Day (Uruguay)
- National Garlic Day (United States)
- National Rice Ball Day (United States)
- Primrose Day (United Kingdom)
- April 20
- April 21
- A&M Day (Texas A&M University)
- Civil Service Day (India)
- Day of Local Self-Government (Russia)
- Grounation Day (Rastafari movement)
- Heroic Defense of Veracruz (Mexico)
- Kang Pan-sok’s Birthday (North Korea)
- Kartini Day (Indonesia)
- Local Self Government Day (Russia)
- National Tree Planting Day (Kenya)
- San Jacinto Day (Texas)
- Queen’s Official Birthday (Falkland Islands)
- Tiradentes’ Day (Brazil)
- Vietnam Book Day (Vietnam)
- April 22
- April 23
- Castile and León Day (Castile and León, Spain)
- German Beer Day (Germany)
- Independence Day (Conch Republic, Key West, Florida)
- International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day
- Khongjom Day (Manipur, India)
- National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Turkey and Northern Cyprus)
- Navy Day (China)
- St George’s Day (England) and its related observances:
- UN English Language Day (United Nations)
- April 24
- Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (Armenia)
- Concord Day (Niger)
- Children’s Day (Zambia)
- Democracy Day (Nepal)
- Fashion Revolution Day
- Flag Day (Ireland)
- International Sculpture Day
- Kapyong Day (Australia)
- Labour Safety Day (Bangladesh)
- National Panchayati Raj Day (India)
- National Pigs in a Blanket Day (United States)
- Republic Day (The Gambia)
- St Mark’s Eve (Western Christianity)
- World Day for Laboratory Animals
- April 25
- Anniversary of the First Cabinet of Kurdish Government (Iraqi Kurdistan)
- Anzac Day (Australia, New Zealand)
- Arbor Day (Germany)
- DNA Day
- Feast of Saint Mark (Western Christianity)
- Flag Day (Faroe Islands)
- Flag Day (Swaziland)
- Freedom Day (Portugal)
- Liberation Day (Italy)
- Major Rogation (Western Christianity)
- Military Foundation Day (North Korea)
- National Zucchini Bread Day (United States)
- Parental Alienation Awareness Day
- Red Hat Society Day
- Sinai Liberation Day (Egypt)
- World Malaria Day
- April 26
- Chernobyl disaster related observances:
- Confederate Memorial Day (Florida, United States)
- Hug A Friend Day
- Hug an Australian Day
- Lesbian Visibility Day
- National Pretzel Day (United States)
- Old Permic Alphabet Day
- Union Day (Tanzania)
- World Intellectual Property Day
- April 27
- Day of Russian Parliamentarism (Russia)
- Day of the Uprising Against the Occupying Forces (Slovenia)
- Flag Day (Moldova)
- Freedom Day (South Africa)
- Independence Day (Sierra Leone)
- Independence Day (Togo)
- National Day (Mayotte)
- National Day (Sierra Leone)
- National Prime Rib Day (United States)
- National Veterans’ Day (Finland)
- April 28
- April 29
- April 30
- Armed Forces Day (Georgia (country))
- Birthday of the King (Sweden)
- Camarón Day (French Foreign Legion)
- Children’s Day (Mexico)
- Consumer Protection Day (Thailand)
- Honesty Day (United States)
- International Jazz Day (UNESCO)
- Martyr’s Day (Pakistan)
- May Eve, the eve of the first day of summer in the Northern hemisphere (see May 1):
- National Persian Gulf Day (Iran)
- Reunification Day (Vietnam)
- Russian State Fire Service Day (Russia)
- Tax Day (Canada)
- Teachers’ Day (Paraguay)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Does the warmth of spring turn you thoughts to gardening? It does ours!
Monthly Gardening Jobs
Make a Container Gardening Planter
Plant Guides to Roses, Flowers, and Shrubs
Plant Guides to Vegetable, Herbs, Fruit
Starting Your Garden
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
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.