Month of April
Aphrodite was the Greek Goddess of love, and she gave her name to the month of April. The Romans gave their thoughts over first to war (this is probably why March comes before April) and then to love. In the northern latitudes spring is finally beginning to assert itself. Flowering bulbs bloom and a joyous productive activity begins - to plant, to sow, and to fertilize.
Yet on the lips of many is the old saying "April showers bring May flowers." The chilly winds and damp weather are not yet done. April then is a hopeful month showing the promise of beauty in the not too distant future.
Easter most often falls during April. Easter is the commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Many of the rituals surrounding its celebration have pagan origin including hiding easter eggs. Eggs are a symbol of fertility and new life.
April also plays host to April Fools Day, the first day in April. On this day practical jokes are practiced on the unwary (and often the wary as well). This tradition seems to have originated in France where New Years Day was celebrated during Medieval times on the 1st of April. Gregory XIII changed it back to the 1st of January in 1582. Many people in rural areas did not make the change for several years. The cosmopolitan city dwellers thought them fools for this reason and it became the fashion to take advantage of the naivete of the provincials on this date. The practice spread to England and other English speaking countries.
April has also been designated National Poetry Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, and Be Vigilante Against Child Abuse Month. Daylight Saving Time also normally begins this month. This is the day when clocks "spring forward" in order to maximize the number of hours of daylight during times people are awake. This saves energy and has the effect of increasing road safety.
Earth Day is observed on 22 April. This day was first celebrated in 1970. The idea is to make people more aware of the Earth's environment and finding ways to ensure that it remains livable for human beings.
The birthstone for April is the diamond.
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