About the Month of April

April is the 4th month of the year and has 30 days. It is the second month of spring and a time of planting and spring cleaning. In the southern hemisphere, April is the same as October in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also my birthday month, so it has to be my favourite! (Well, at least it was my favourite in my younger days.)

In the earliest Roman calendar, April was the second month of the year (coming after March) before Januarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Pompilius around 700 BC. It became the fourth month around 450 BC, when it was given 29 days. The 30th day was added in the mid-40s BC, which produced the Julian Calendar.

Some people believe that the name, April, comes from the name of the Greek goddess, Aphrodite (named Venus by the Romans).

The Romans gave the month the name Aprilis, which means ‘to open’. This fits April well since in so many places in the northern hemisphere, April is the month when buds appear on trees and go on to flower.

Roman festivals which were planned for April included Parrilia, which was performed every year on April 21. Essentially of rural character, this festival was aimed at the cleansing of both sheep and shepherd in honour of the Roman deity Pales. Of uncertain gender, Pales was the patron of shepherds and sheep. The festival was first celebrated by the earliest kings of Rome but later on by the pontifex maximus (the chief priest).

The Anglo-Saxons called April, Eastre-monah (Eostremonath). In his treatise, ‘The Reckoning of Time’, the Venerable Bede (AD 673 – AD735) says that the word eastre is the basis of the word Easter. He also tells us that the month was named after the Germanic goddess of dawn, Eostre, whose feast was in Ostamanod (Easter Month).

Ostara (Eostre) by Johannes Gehrts, 1901. Ostara flies through the heavens surrounded by Roman inspired putti, beams of light and animals. Germanic peoples look up at the goddess from below. Public Domain.

Symbols of April

The April birthstone is the diamond, associated with strength, love and health.

There are two flowers associated with April, depending on where you live:

The daisy symbolizes childhood innocence, simplicity and joy, and is the flower linked with April to most people in the U.K. (Sweet peas tend to flower from mid-June to late August here.)

The sweet pea is more likely to be linked to April in the U.S. although in some areas, the daisy may well also be recognised. It symbolizes blissful pleasure.

Two signs in the Zodiac calendar fall in April, both of them being domestic animals and quadrupeds with cloven (split) hooves, as with the roe deer shown here:

People with birthdays between March 21st and April 19th are said to be born under the sign of Aries (the Ram). Aries is a Sun sign, ruled by the planet and Roman God of War, Mars.

Those with birthdays from April 20th to May 20th are said to be born under the sign of Taurus (the Bull). Taurus is an Earth sign, ruled by the planet and Roman Goddess of Love, Venus.

These are just a few April holidays and celebrations (2022 dates given)

April Fools’ Day: April 1

World Autism Awareness Day: April 2

Easter Sunday is April 17

Passover: April 15 – 23

Ramadan: April 2 – May 1

Earth Day: April 22

Arbor Day: celebrated on different dates around the world, dependent on the tree planting season. In the U.S. it is on the last Friday in April, though again this varies in different states.

National Poetry Month

National Arab American Heritage Month

Jazz Appreciation Month

April in-Other Languages: 

Chinese/Mandarin: Siyuè * Danish: April * Finnish: Huhtikuu * French: Avril * Italian: Aprile

Greek: Aprilios * German: Ahpril * Sovenia: Mai Traven * Spanish: Abril

Ten Random Facts About April

The Japanese fiscal year for most businesses starts on April 1.

In England there are many cuckoo festivals in April. The arrival of the cuckoo bird signifies that Spring has arrived.

April is the month when the professional baseball season starts in the U.S.

The luxury British steamship, Titanic, sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912.

A few famous historical figures had birthdays in April, including Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Leonardo da Vinci and Adolf Hitler. Our present queen, Elizabeth II, was also born in April.

St, George’s Day is April 23

George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United Stated on April 30, 1789.

Noah Webster copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary in April.

The Boston Marathon is held during April.

In Athens on April 6,1896, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games took place after being banned 1,500 years earlier by Roman emperor, Theodosius.

Quotes About April

‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ ~ George Orwell

‘Snow in April is abominable,’ said Anne. ‘Like a slap in the face when you expected a kiss.’ ~ L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

‘April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.’ ~ William Shakespeare

‘April, April, laugh thy girlish laughter, and the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears.’ ~ William Watson, poet

‘April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom, holiday tables under the trees. ~ Yip Harburg, song lyricist and writer

‘Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.’ ~ Charles Lamb, essayist and poet

April Rain

The April rain, the April rain,

Comes slanting down in fitful showers,

Then from the furrow shoots the grain,

And banks are fledged with nestling flowers:

And in grey shawl and woodland bowers

The cuckoo through the April rain.

Calls once again.

~ by Mathilde Blin

*** Other than the image of Eostre (from Wikipedia) the images and photos used in this post have either been purchased from Shutterstock or are free images from Pixabay. My thanks to all three of these very useful sites.

*** A quick note and apology from me: This post is roughly four years late in coming, for which I apologise. I started doing my Month by Month posts five years ago. I began with the month of May, and duly went through the months until I had reached the following March. April would have completed each of the twelve months. Unfortunately, I was well into the middle of my Sons of Kings series by then, and a post about April never got written. So here it is, the twelfth and final monthly post.

16 thoughts on “About the Month of April

  1. So lovely to see you again Millie, and with such an informative and interesting post.
    Charles Lamb’s quote is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it: ‘Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.’

    1. Many thanks, Peter. It always feels good to return after taking breaks for my writing. I hope to be able to stay for a while now, although I won’t be writing as many posts per week as I used to. I completely agree with you about that quote. Fools seem to multiply exponentially over the years.

    1. Hi, Cigarman. Thank you for visiting my blog. April is a good month for a birthday. Mine often falls over Easter and when I was a child, people often gave me an Easter egg for a present. I would have so much chocolate, but my mum made sure I only had a little every day. The other advantage was that, being in the two-week Easter holiday, I was always off school on my birthday. Happy memories.

  2. Thank you for reading my post, Molly. It’s the first one I’ve written since October 2020, and it feels good to be writing something other than novels. My birthday is less than a fortnight away now, and I’m not looking forward to being a year older. I already feel ancient. Have a lovely weekend.

  3. How wonderful to see a post from you. It must a relief to finally finish the calendar. You have also reminded me to send a birthday card to one of my sisters.

    1. Haha. Yes, sisters are not to be forgotten. Mine would probably sulk for weeks if I did that. As for the calendar posts, I’m very relieved to have eventually got that done. I attempted to do it last year, but my writing called. I’d have so much time to do other things if I hadn’t chosen to write. Lol. Thanks for stopping by, Peggy.

  4. Hello again! April is quite a packed month it looks like. I didn’t know about “cuckoo festivals”. Or that it was named for Aphrodite.

    1. Hello again to you, too, Ali. I can’t say we’ve lived in areas that hold cuckoo festivals, but it seems there are still a few dotted around the country. One I found online (in Lancaster) was a street market and cuckoo fair combined. Another was a spring fayre and cuckoo festival – but that was held in June – the month when cuckoos generally fly away (according to the rhyme). Two others were purely cuckoo festivals. I imagine that some have simply ceased to be held. A lot of old customs and traditions are dying out, unfortunately.

  5. Reading your post after such a long time, Millie. Hope all is well. Well, even here in this part o the world, the Indian new year usually falls in April. Many of the local festivals coincide with this month.

    1. Hello, Arv, thank you for visitiing. Yes, I’ve been off my blog again for over a year. Needs must, I’m afraid. I am well and have managed to avoid Covid, and hope you have, too. I would have mentioned your couple of points about April in India, if I’d known them.The sites I referred to were obviously rather limited in their information. It can rain a lot here in April (hence all the songs about Aptil Showers) but it is lovely when the sun shines.

      1. Good to know you are doing well. I think there is so much information that it’s hard to find it easily. So is April weather likeable? Or it’s harsh?

    1. Hi Maureen. Thank you for visiting my blog! I really enjoyed doing my month by month posts, although this final one should have veen written four years ago. I’ve thought about doing the post every April since, but I’ve always been in the middle of a new book (as I am this time round). There are so many interesting facts about every month and I loved finding out about them all.

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