Robin Williams said that “spring is nature’s way of saying ‘let’s party!’” I’ve always thought that was quite a cute way of looking at it, and even more so this year after having been through such a long winter here in Denver. And even though it snowed all day long yesterday, it is meant to be 80 degrees sometime next week so…let’s party! April just happens to be Humor Month, which should help. I’ve got that and more fun facts to keep you going all month long.
April gets its name
“April” is one of the oldest months, being on the calendar from as far back as 700 BCE. It was then the second month on the calendar following March. It was given the fourth slot after January and February were added in roughly 450 BCE. But while this is fairly well known and documented, the origin of the name itself is up for debate. I found a few different theories, all quite far removed from each other:
Have Fun with History: “The month of April gets its name from the Latin word “aperire,” which means “to open.” It is believed that this term refers to the opening of flowers and the leaves on trees during this time of year.”
American Training Inc: “April is named for the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite.”
Dictionary.com: “Around the fifth century, the Anglo-Saxons referred to April as Oster-monath or Eostre-monath, a reference to the goddess Eostre, whose feast was celebrated during the month. The Venerable Bede, a monk from the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter, believed this gave root to the word Easter—which is most often observed during the month of April.”
Wikiionary.com: “From Middle English apprile, Aprill, re-Latinised from Middle English aueril, from Old French avrill, from Latin Apr?lis (“of the month of the goddess Venus.”
What theory do you think is the most likely?
Mother Earth and April
April is a big month for Mother Earth! Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 to encourage people to protect the environment and it is a great month to do so. A lot is happening with our environment this month:
- Small animals that have been hibernating come back to the ground floor.
- Birds travel north. Read about how this looks in England on the website RSPB.com.
- Flowers blossom.
- Bees and butterflies begin to gather nectar.
- Wildflowers bloom.
Read more about how you can celebrate Earth Day and make a local impact at EarthDay.org.
Want a fun way to party with nature this month? April 16 is Go Fly a Kite Day. Keep your eyes open for a post on the history of kites coming soon!
April’s birth flowers
Want to celebrate everything that is happening with nature this month? Get yourself a bouquet, or two. April has two birth flowers: the daisy and the sweet pea.
Daisies (my favorite flower) are often thought to represent cheerfulness, innocence, and loyalty. Read more about the background of this happy flower here: The Daisy Flower: Meanings, Images, Insights.
Sweet peas are such a nice accent to any garden! Appearing like little butterflies they are so great as one of April’s birth flowers. Some people believe they represent blissful pleasure, kindness, and friendship.
I think I’d like a bouquet of both!
April’s birthstone is a diamond, how opulent! Diamonds represent clarity and strength and have fascinated people for centuries. Learn more about this precious stone:
Some things that happened in April:
- April 4, 1828: The first Webster Dictionary was copyrighted by Noah Webster.
- April 6, 1869: The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens.
- April 14, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln was mortally shot at Ford’s Theater.
- April 15, 1912: The Titanic sank.
- April 19, 1775: The Revolutionary War began.
- April 24: 1800: The Library of Congress was established.
- April 30, 1789: George Washington was inaugurated.
Love this time of year? You’ll love these blog posts too:
National Poetry Month
Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I have had a resurgence of my previous love of poetry so I am looking forward to observing this one. Says Poets.org:
“Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month is a special occasion that celebrates poets’ integral role in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.”
The website has a long list of ways that adults and children alike can celebrate poetry this month. Check it out here.
To kick things off here is a lovely poem about April:
An April Adoration
By Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
Sang the sun rise on an amber morn —
‘Earth, be glad! An April day is born.
‘Winter’s done, and April’s in the skies, Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!’
Putting off her dumb dismay of snow,
Earth bade all her unseen children grow.
Then the sound of growing in the air Rose to God a liturgy of prayer;
And the thronged succession of the days
Uttered up to God a psalm of praise.
Laughed the running sap in every vein,
Laughed the running flurries of warm rain,
Laughed the life in every wandering root,
Laughed the tingling cells of bud and shoot.
God in all the concord of their mirth
Heard the adoration-song of Earth.
And finally, some people of note who were born this spring month:
- 2nd, 1805: Hans Christain Andersen
- 3rd, 1943: Jane Goodall
- 3rd, 1783: Washington Irving
- 10th, 1930: Dolores Huerta
- 23rd, 1564: William Shakespeare