Written by Rajlaxmi Singh – a grade 6 student
Mark Twain, in reference to the April Fool’s day Celebrated on 1st of April every year, remarked: “This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.”
April is a mysterious month with many interpretations for its origin. King Numa Pompilius in around 700 B.C. gave the first calendar and April was the second month of the Roman calendar year with the year starting with March. Hence April is from the Latin word Aprillis, which is a derivative of the Latin base apero-, meaning “second.”
The season of spring starts with April in the European continent. Therefore, another theory says that April originated from the Latin word “aperire,” meaning ‘to open’; in reference to opening of buds and flowers in Spring.
Another school of thought links April to Greek goddess Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name Apru. Her Roman counterpart goddess Venus is linked to April, her Veneralia being held on the first day, so it is claimed that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis.
Around Fifth Century A.D., the Anglo-Saxons referred to April as Eostre-monath, a reference to the goddess Eostre, whose feast was celebrated during the month. this is the origin of Easter, a festival most often celebrated in the month of April.
The Roman Calendar had 29 days in April, and around 450 B.C. April became the fourth month. Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, presented the Gregorian Calendar and added an extra day to the month of April. To this day, this version of Gregorian Calendar continues.
It is interesting to observe that it is planting time in some parts of the world and some places have the Harvesting season in April. Many festivals related with harvesting are celebratyed across the world.
The Indians have Baisakhi in Punjab, Aoling in Nagaland, Chaitra Navratri and Ram Navami in North India, and Bohag Bihu in Assam. Naba Varsha in Bengal etc. The Japanese have the Cherry blossom festivities and Kanamara, Inuyama, and Takayama Festivals. The Thai people celebrate the onset of New Year through Songkran festival in April. The city of Amsterdam celebrates the King’s Day on April 27th, in honour of the birthday of the King Willem-Alexander of the House of Orange.
There’s a story of Lord Indra’s son Jayant in Ramayana. During exile Ram, Sita and Laxmana were living in Chitrakoot. Jayant took the form of a crow and pecked at Sita’s feet. An enraged Ram picked a blade of grass and turned it into Brahmastra on Jayant. Later he seeked pardon and so his life is spared. But he lost an eye. For this , he is also called Vaishakh Nandana, Vaishakh being month of April. Vaishakh Nandana became synonymous with donkeys grazing dry grass.
That is why April is month of humour, so laugh it up!
Written by Rajlaxmi Singh
Rajlaxmi is a grade 6 student. She loves painting in acrylic colours. She also loves jungles and has done some wildlife photography. She likes to click blooming flowers. She calls herself a friends person and is comfortable with herself.
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