April

2641996April is the fourth month of the Gregorian calendar and is named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.  The name is also derived from the Latin word aperit, which means to open.  This is because April is generally the beginning of the growing season and the trees and flowers are opening.  April was originally the second month of the year, and only moved to the forth when January became the first month.

The first of April is celebrated as April Fool’s Day.  There are several possible origins of this holiday.  Some believe it references Christ’s journey from the High Priests to Pilate to Herod and back to Pilate.  These “Fool’s Errands” were dramatized is medieval mystery plays.  However, many people believe this tradition stems from the change over to the Gregorian calendar in France in 1564.  Using the old calendar, the New Year would begin on March 25 and then there was a week long celebration ending with a feast on April 1.  With the adoption of the calendar, New Year’s Day moved to January 1.  Fake invitations were sent as pranks for New Year’s feasts on April 1 that never happened.

April’s birthstone is the diamond, symbolizing innocence.  It’s flowers are the daisy and the sweet pea.  The signs of the zodiac are Aries, until April 20, and Taurus, for the rest of the month.