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April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four with the length of 30 days.

April begins (astrologically) with the sun in the sign of Aries and ends in the sign of Taurus. Astronomically speaking, the sun begins in the constellation of Pisces and ends in the constellation of Aries.

The derivation of the name (Latin aprilis) is uncertain. The traditional etymology from the Latin aperire, "to open," in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to "open," is supported by comparison with the modern Greek use of ἁνοιξις (opening) for spring. This seems very possible, though, as all the Roman months were named in honour of divinities, and as April was sacred to Venus, the Festum Veneris et Fortunae Virilis being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her Greek name Aphrodite, or from the Etruscan name Apru. Jacob Grimm suggests the name of a hypothetical god or hero, Aper or Aprus. On the fourth and the five following days, games (Ludi Megalenses) were celebrated in honour of Cybele; on the fifth there was the Festum Fortunae Publicae; on the tenth (?) games in the circus, and on the nineteenth equestrian combats, in honour of Ceres; on the twenty-first--which was regarded as the birthday of Rome--the Vinalia urbana, when the wine of the previous autumn was first tasted; on the twenty-fifth, the Robigalia, for the averting of mildew; and on the twenty-eighth and four following days, the riotous Floralia.

The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath, the period sacred to Eostre or Ostara, the pagan Saxon goddess of spring, from whose name is derived the modern Easter. 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 symbolical ploughing of the earth by the emperor and princes of the blood takes place in their third month, which frequently corresponds to our April; and in Japan the feast of Dolls is celebrated in the same month.

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 was originally the second month of the Roman calendar and had 29 days. Julius Caesar's calendar reform in 45 BCE resulted in April having 30 days and becoming the fourth month, as the year now began in January.


April in poetry

April, from the Très riches heures du duc de Berry
April, from the Très riches heures du duc de Berry

Poets often identify April with the end of winter, but they don't necessarily agree on what that means:

  • Adage:
April showers bring May flowers
Whan that April with his showres soote (that is, sweet)
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veine in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flowr; (ll. 1-4)
Modernized for The Norton Anthology of English Literature
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

The Tragic Month of April

April also is noticeable for its close connection with warfare. An unusually large number of wars have started or ended in Aprils, and many military leaders (ex. Hitler) have been born in April. Just a few wars that started/ended in April are:

  • American Revolution Started (Paul Revere's Ride: April 18-19 1775)
  • American Civil War (Started April 1861, Ended April 1865, thus "Across 5 Aprils")
  • The Rwandan Genocide began in April 1994
  • The Bosnian War began in the first days April 1992
  • World War II (Germany Surrenders in April, 1945)

Other Tragedies that have occurred in the month of April include

  • President Abraham Lincoln's Assassination (April 14,1865)
  • 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (April 18, 1906)
  • The sinking of the RMS Titanic (April 14-15,1912)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated (April 4,1968)
  • Super Tornado Outbreak (April 3-4,1974)
  • Chernobyl nuclear accident (April 26,1986)
  • The bloody end to the Branch Dividan siege in Waco, Texas (April 19,1993)
  • The Oklahoma City Bombing (April 19, 1995)
  • Columbine High School shooting (April 20,1999)
  • Death of Pope John Paul II (April 2, 2005)
  • The first use of poison gas at the second battle of Ypres in April 1915


April Events

Monthlong events in April

  • Chocolate Eaters Month
  • Grass Month
  • Pets Are Wonderful Month
  • Uh-huh Month
  • Cancer Control Month
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • Freedom Shrine Month
  • International Guitar Month
  • Keep America Beautiful Month
  • Mathematics Education Month
  • Multicultural Communication Month
  • National Anxiety Month
  • National Garden Month
  • National Home Improvement Month
  • National Humor Month
  • National Occupational Therapy Month
  • National Welding Month
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
  • Philatelic Societies Month
  • VD Awareness Month
  • National Food Month
  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Holy Humor Month
  • International Amateur Radio Month
  • International Twit Award Month
  • Month of the Young Child
  • National Florida Tomato Month
  • National Knuckles Down Month
  • National Sexually Transmitted Diseases Education and Awareness Month
  • National Woodworking Month
  • Sea Cadet Month
  • Thai Heritage Month
  • Sports Eye Safety Month
  • Community Services Month (California)
  • Listening Awareness Month
  • Autism Awareness Month

Weeklong events in April

1st Week in April

  • Medic Alert Week
  • Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Publicity Stunt Week
  • National Birthparents Week
  • Week of the Young Child
  • Straw Hat Week
  • National Bake Week (begins 1st Mon)
  • Consider Christianity Week
  • National Reading a Road Map Week

2nd Week in April

  • Be Kind to Animals Week
  • Masters Golf Tournament
  • National Medical Laboratory Week
  • Private Property Week (10th-16th)
  • National Library Week
  • Harmony Week
  • National Garden Week
  • TV Turn-Off Week
  • National Guitar Week
  • National Building Safety Week
  • National Home Safety Week

3rd Week in April

  • National Police Week
  • Boys and Girls Club Week
  • National Coin Week
  • Bike Safety Week
  • National Bubblegum Week
  • Pan American Week
  • National Week of the Ocean
  • National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
  • National Volunteer Week
  • National Adult Films Week

Last Week in April

  • Forest Week
  • National Lingerie Week
  • Canada-US Goodwill Week
  • Big Brothers/Sisters Appreciation Week
  • Consumer Protection Week
  • National TV-Free Week
  • Jewish Heritage Week
  • Keep America Beautiful Week
  • National YMCA Week
  • Professional Secretaries Week
  • Intergenerational Week
  • Reading Is Fun Week
  • Egg Salad Week
  • Teacher Appreciation Week (begins Last Mon)

A Week in April

  • Astronomy Week (determined by 1st Quarter Moon)

April Movable Daily Holidays

1st Sunday

  • Set-Your Clock-Forward-Day
  • Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States; turn your clock ahead at 2:00 a.m.
  • Budoha Day (Hawaii)
  • Vesak (Buddha's Birthday)

1st Saturday

  • Saturday Market Day (Oregon)

1st Saturday before 5th

  • Tax Saturday (UK)

1st Thursday

  • Glarus Festival (Switzerland)

1st Friday

  • Student Government Day (Massachusetts)

Friday after 1st

  • Arbor Day (Apache, Navajo, Coconino, Mohave, Yavapai; Arizona)

2nd Friday

  • Audubon Day

3rd Sunday & Monday

  • Sechselauten (Six Ringing Festival; Switzerland)

3rd Monday

  • Patriot's Day (Maine, Massachusetts)
  • Boston Marathon

Thursday between 19th & 26th

  • First Day of Summer (Iceland)

Saturday nearest St. George's Day (23rd)

  • Peppercorn Day (Bermuda)

Monday nearest Feast Day of St. George (23rd)

  • St. George's Day (Newfoundland)

Sunday after 1st full moon after vernal equinox following Passover

  • Lambri (Bright Day; Greece)

3rd Monday

  • Patriots' Day (Maine, Massachusetts)

4th Monday

  • Fast Day (New Hampshire)

4th Thursday

  • Take Our Daughters to Work Day

4th Weekend

  • Just Pray No weekend

Last Monday

  • Confederate Memorial Day (Alabama, Mississippi)

Last Friday

  • Arbor Day
  • Bird Day

Wednesday of Last Full Week

  • Professional Secretaries Day

April Indeterminate Holidays

Full Moon Day of 6th Buddhist month (@ Apr/May)

  • Vesak

Sun enters Aries

  • Solar New Year (Southeast Asia)
  • aka Thingyan (Burma)
  • aka Songkran (Thailand)

10th through 15th Day of 2nd lunar month

  • Paro Tsechu (Bhutan)

During planting season (@ Apr/May)

  • Tyi Wara (Mali)

Early April to late July (every 4 years)

  • Summer Olympics begin

Late April or May

  • Alp Aufzug (Switzerland)

Before 1st rainfall (@ Apr/May)

  • Bobo Masquerade (Burkina Faso)

Sometime in April

  • World Championship Cow Chip Throwing Contest
  • Palm Sunday - Christian
  • Palm Sunday - Armenian Christian
  • Good Friday - Christian
  • Easter - Christian
  • Pesach (Passover) - Jewish

See also


January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
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