Fun April Facts:
The origins of April Foolsâ€™ Day are nebulous, although one legend traces it to France. In the late 1500s, the French began using the Gregorian calendar, but not everybody was aware the new year date had moved. Some people kept celebrating around the vernal equinox, though, and their peers began to tease them. Thus, April Foolsâ€™ Day was born, according to the History Channel.Â
The Romans gave this month theÂ LatinÂ nameÂ AprilsÂ but the derivation of this name is uncertain. The traditional etymology is from the verbÂ aperire, “to open”, in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to “open”, which is supported by comparison with the modern Greek use ofÂ Î¬Î½Î¿Î¹Î¾Î·Â (Ã¡nixi) (opening) for spring. Since some of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities, and as April was sacred to the goddessÂ Venus, herÂ VeneraliaÂ being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her monthÂ Aphrilis, from her equivalent Greek goddess nameÂ AphroditeÂ (Aphros), or from theÂ EtruscanÂ nameÂ Apru.
April was the second month of the earliestÂ Roman calendar, beforeÂ IanuariusÂ andÂ FebruariusÂ were added by KingÂ Numa PompiliusÂ about 700Â BC. It became the fourth month of the calendar year (the year when twelve months are displayed in order) during the time of theÂ decemvirsÂ about 450Â BC, when it also was given 29Â days. The 30th day was added during the reform of the calendar undertaken byÂ Julius CaesarÂ in the mid-40sÂ BC, which produced the Julian calendar.
TheÂ Anglo-SaxonsÂ called AprilÂ Ä“astre-monaÃ¾. TheÂ Venerable BedeÂ says inÂ The Reckoning of TimeÂ that this monthÂ Ä“astreÂ is the root of the wordÂ Easter. He further states that the month was named after a goddessÂ EostreÂ whose feast was in that month. It is also attested byÂ EinhardÂ in his work,Â Vita Karoli Magni.
St George‘s day is the twenty-third of the month; andÂ 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.
InÂ ChinaÂ the symbolic ploughing of the earth by the emperor and princes of the blood took place in their third month, which frequently corresponds to April.Â Â InÂ FinnishÂ April isÂ huhtikuu, meaningÂ slash-and-burnÂ moon, whenÂ gymnospermsÂ for beat and burn clearing of farmland were felled.
- April’sÂ birthstoneis theÂ diamond.
- TheÂ birth floweris typically listed as either theÂ DaisyÂ (Bellis perennis)Â or theÂ Sweet Pea.
- TheÂ zodiacsigns for the month of April areÂ AriesÂ (until April 20) andÂ TaurusÂ (April 21 onwards).