April is the month that marks the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere. The etymology of "April" in Latin is aperire, which means "to open": the "opening" of trees and flowers. Boston's magnolia trees have blossomed considerably early this year and has been called one of the earliest blossoming in 140 years of record keeping.
Many of you may be aware that Easter and Passover are coming up! But what other holidays are going on in April? Let's take a look!
Easter (Resurrection Day)
Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian's believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the death three days after his crucifixion, which is commemorated on Good Friday. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21st. Traditionally, Saturday's are spent decorating Easter eggs and hunting for them with children on the following Sunday. Hot cross buns (spiced buns with a cross on top) are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and are a symbol for the Crucifixion.
Passover is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month in the Jewish calender. This year, Passover begins Friday, April 6th and ends on Saturday, April 14th. Passover commemorates the story of Exodus, where ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. The most important Passover tradition is the seder. During the seder the story of Exodus is retold, four cups of wine are to be had each representing an expression of deliverance, and partaking in eating symbolic foods on a seder plate.
In Japan, Golden Week is a period consisting of four holidays. It begins on April 29th with Showa Day, which honors the birthday of the late Emperor Hirohito. May 3rd is Constitution Memorial Day, which commemorates the declaration of the 1947 Constitution of Japan. May 4th is celebrated with Greenery day and is set aside for nature appreciation. Commemorative plantings take place across the country. The final holiday is Children's Day, which lands on May 5th. The holiday respects and embraces children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. On Children's Day, families hang koinobori's (carp streamers), which symbolize the determination and vigor of the carp overcoming obstacles to swim upstream.
Earth Day is held every year worldwide on April 22nd. The United Nations even designated that day as International Mother Earth Day. This holiday is meant to increase awareness and appreciate our planet's natural environment. It was pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 and has since then gained an immense amount of support. Their are many traditions people around the world take part in to commemorate this holiday. There is planting a tree, picking up trash, recycling, and even hiking!
Do you know of any other holidays that occur in April? If so, please let us know!