April (i// AY-pril) is commonly associated with the season of spring in the Northern hemisphere and autumn in the Southern hemisphere, where it is the seasonal equivalent to October in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa. April is the second rainiest month of the year (after July).
April starts on the same day of the week as July in all years, and January in leap years. April ends on the same day of the week as December every year. October of the previous year starts on the same day of the week as April of the current year as a common year and May of the previous year starts on the same day of the week as April of the current year as a leap year. July of the previous year ends on the same day of the week as April of the current year as a leap year and February and October of the previous year ends on the same day of the week as April of the current year as a leap year. In years immediately before common years, April starts on the same day of the week as September and December of the following year and in years immediately before leap years, June of the following year. In years immediately before common years, April ends one the same day of the week as September of the following year and in years immediately before leap years, March and June of the following year.
Name and origin
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 ἁνοιξις (anoixis) (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 Oster-monath or Eostur-monath. The Venerable Bede says in The Reckoning of Time that this month Eostur 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 was felled.
Holidays and events
- Autism Awareness Month (United States)
- Jazz Appreciation Month (United States)
- National Poetry Month (United States)
- National Poetry Writing Month
- Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month (International)
- Confederate History Month (southern United States)-April 26
- National Arab American Heritage Month (United States)
- National Child Abuse Prevention Month (United States)
- April Fools' Day – April 1
- Japanese school calendar also starts from April 1, although Nyugakushiki (entry ceremony for schools) are usually held later, around second week of April.
- World Autism Awareness Day - April 2
- Arbor Day (Korea) – April 5
- End of Tax Year (UK) – April 5
- April 1 is the first day of Japanese fiscal year. Major Japanese companies usually have Nyushashiki (entry ceremony for companies) for new employees those who newly hired after their graduation from schools, on this day.
- Passover (Hebrew:פסח) a Jewish holiday
- World Health Day – April 7
- Buddha's Birthday – Traditional Date – April 8
- Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as "Bataan Day" (Philippines) – April 9
- Vaisakh (Nepal) - April 14
- Vaisakhi (India) - April 14
- Good Friday (Christians) – a Friday between March 20 and April 23, being the last Friday before Easter
- Easter, or Resurrection Day (Christians) - celebrated the First Sunday after the first full moon on or after the Spring Equinox, near March 21st (between March 22 and April 25)
- International Trombone Week - varies. In 2012, it is April 1–15
- Beginning of Tax Year (India) – April 1
- Thai New Year in Thailand – April 13
- Lao New Year in Laos – April 13
- Burmese New Year in Burma - April 13
- Khmer New Year in Cambodia – April 13
- Tax Day (US) – April 15
- National Healthcare Decisions Day (US) - April 16
- Boston Marathon – Third Monday
- Zimbabwean Independence Day – April 18
- 4:20 – April 20
- Patriots' Day – April 21
- Earth Day – April 22
- Conch Republic Independence Celebration (Key West, Florida) – April 23
- St George's Day Patron Saint Celebration (England, Europe) – April 23
- Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day – April 24
- Liberation Day in Italy - April 25 is a National Holiday that celebrates the end of the Nazi Germany occupation in the Northern Italy.
- ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand) – April 25
- Carnation Revolution (Portugal) – April 25
- Confederate Memorial Day (US: Georgia, Tennessee,Florida, Texas)- April 26
- Resistance day in Slovenia - formerly Liberation Front of the Slovene People day April 27
- Freedom Day (South Africa) – April 27
- April 29 is a Japanese national holiday, as Shōwa Day since 2007. It has been celebrated as The Emperor's Birthday from 1927 to 1988, then renamed as Greenery Day after Hirohito's death in 1989. It is usually marked as the first day of "Golden Week", a week-long holiday period.
- Formerly Koninginnedag in the Netherlands / Kingdom of the Netherlands – April 30, for the last time celebrated in 2013, now celebrated as Koningsdag at April 27th.
- Arbor Day – last Friday of April in some states in the United States http://www.arborday.org/
- Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, usually fourth Thursday (United States)
- London Marathon – usually fourth Sunday
- Opening Day – first Sunday in April
- Independence day (Syria) – April 17
- Record Store Day – usually celebrated on the third Saturday
- Financial Literacy Month (United States)
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 20) and Taurus (April 21 onwards).
References and sources
- "April" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 497.
- Jacob Grim Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. Cap. "Monate"
- Chisholm 1911.
- Koledar prireditev v letu 2007 in druge informacije občine Dobrova–Polhov Gradec [The Calendar of Events and Other Information of the Municipality of Dobrova–Polhov Gradec] (in Slovene). Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec. 2006.
- "International Trombone Week April 1-15, 2012". International Trombone Association. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- "National Healthcare Decisions Day". Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "The Free Dictionary". Retrieved November 14, 2012.
- Kipfer, Barbara Ann (1997) The Order of Things. New York: Random House
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "April". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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