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Flower: Daisy or Sweet Pea
Aries (March 21 - April 20)
Taurus (April 21 - May 21)
More April lore here
|It is likely that the Roman
Goddess of Love 'Aprilis' was honoured when naming the month
of April, but historians aren't totally sure of that factoid.
"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is.
And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know
what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart
ache, you want it so!"
- Mark Twain
Ashes Moon, Awakening Moon, Big Spring Moon, Big Summer Moon,
Black Oaks Tassel Moon, Broken Snowshoe Moon, Budding Time Moon,
Budding Trees Moon, Bullhead Moon, Cherry Blossom Moon, Daisy
Moon, Moon, Egg Moon, Moon, Fish Moon, Flower Moon, Frog Moon,
Glittering Snow on Lake Moon, Grass Moon, Gray Goose Moon, Great
Sand Storm Moon, Green Grass Moon,, Growing Moon, Half Spring
Moon, Hare Moon, Ice Breaking in the River Moon, Leaf Split
Moon, Loon Moon, Maple Moon, Maple Sugar Moon, Maple Sap Boiling
Moon, Moon of Greening Grass, Moon of Red Grass Appearing, Moon
of the Big Leaves, Moon of the Red Grass Appearing, Moon of
Windbreak, Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation, Moon
When Nothing Happens, Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs, Moon When
They Set Indian Corn, Peony Moon, Pink Moon, Planter's Moon,
Planting Corn Moon, Planting Moon, Poinciana Moon, Red Grass
Appearing Moon, Ring Finger Moon, Snowshoe Breaking Moon, Spring
Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Strawberry Moon, Strong Moon, Sugar
Maker Moon, Summer Moon, Sweet Pea Moon, Tulip Moon, White Lady
Moon, Wildcat Moon, Willow Moon, Wind Moon, Wisteria Moon and
April was formerly the second month in the ancient Roman
year, when March began the calendar. The “real” origin of
its name has been lost. The most common theory is that Aprilis
is derived from the Latin verb Aperire, “to open”, as the
opening, or blossoming, of trees and flowers.
Since the Romans often named months for gods (and goddesses),
and since April was sacred to Venus, the Roman goddess of
love, her festival was held on the first day of Aprilis. Is
possible that Aprilis was originally called Aphrilis, a Latin
name which comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of lnus?
Fordicidia, the Feast of the Cows on April 15, when ancient
rites were conducted to ensure the prosperity of crops. A
cow pregnant with calf was sacrificed, and attendants of the
vestal virgins then took the calf from its mother to burn
it. Its ashes, gathered up by the vestals, were used a few
days later at the Parilia. The Parilia was the annual Roman
festival of flocks and herds, celebrated on April 21 in honor
of Pales, the pastoral deity (god or goddess) and special
protector of cattle. T
he Parilia, essentially a pastoral, or agricultural rite,
is believed to have originated long before the founding of
the city of Rome (753 B.C.). Romulus, the legendary “founder
of Rome”, is thought to have played a significant role in
conducting the cleansing and renewal rituals of the Parilia.
April 21 (XI days to Maius Calends) was set aside to commemorate
not only Pales, but also the founding of Rome. A public holiday
known as the Natalis urbis Romae (birthday of the city of
Rome), was also a day which was marked by music, street dancing,
and general revelry.
The Romans gave this month the Latin name Aprilis but the
derivation of this name is uncertain. The traditional etymology
is from the verb 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
of anoixis (opening) for spring.
Since some of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities,
and as April was sacred to the goddess Venus, her Veneralia
being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis
was originally her month Aphrilis, from her equivalent Greek
goddess name Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name
April was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar,
before Ianuarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Pompilius
about 700 BC. It became the fourth month of the calendar year
(the year when twelve months are displayed in order) during
the time of the decemvirs about 450 BC, when it also was given
29 days. The 30th day was added during the reform of the calendar
undertaken by Julius Caesar in the mid-40s BC, which produced
the Julian calendar.
The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath.
The Venerable Bede says in The Reckoning of Time that this
month Eostur is the root of the word Easter. He further states
that the month was named after a goddess Eostre whose feast
was in that month. It is also attested by Einhard in his work,
Vita Karoli Magni.
In Roman mythology, Flora was a goddess of flowers and the
season of spring. While she was otherwise a relatively minor
figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility
goddesses, her association with the spring gave her particular
importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the
Floralia, was held in April or early May and symbolized the
renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking,
Her Greek equivalent was Chloris. Flora was married to Favonius,
the wind god, and her companion was Hercules. Due to her association
with plants, her name in modern English also means plant life.
Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of
Antiquity among Renaissance humanists than she had ever enjoyed
in ancient Rome.
The festival of Floralia began around the year 258 BCE. Pagan
Romans celebrated for six days, from April 27th to May 3rd,
honouring their Goddess of Spring and of Flowers, Flora. Flora,
known as Chloris to the Greeks, was a beautiful and serene
Goddess, the Queen of Spring. She was married to Zephyrus,
the west wind, and her temple is in Aventine. Floralia was
a time a great merriment and rejoicing in ancient Rome.
During the festival, Romans would cast off their habitual
white robes for more colourful garments, especially green
ones. They would also deck themselves and everything around
them in flowers then engage in all sorts of activities. There
would be feasting, singing, dancing, and gaming. Offerings
of milk and honey were made to the goddess Flora. Goats and
hares meant to symbolize fertility were let loose in gardens
and fields as protectors in Flora's honour.
Singing filled the air and dancers stomped the ground to
awaken nature and bring it back to life. Ancient roman prostitutes
in particular enjoyed this festival as they considered Flora
their patron goddess. So Floralia was especially important
to them. They participated in many events, from performing
naked in the theatre to gladiatorial feats.
With the occupation of Rome in many countries of the western
world at the time, especially in Britain and continental Europe,
the festival of Floralia spread, with each country adding
its own special touches to the festivities. And finally, Floralia
Many countries choose a May Queen to preside over the day's
activities and children dance around the Maypole. Some collect
flowers on May Eve for the next day and some couples even
make love in their garden to ensure fertility. One belief
that has been passed on is that one should wash one's face
with the dew from MayDay morn to obtain lasting beauty.
- Linda Cassleman
The Jewish Passover usually falls on the first full moon
after the Northern Hemisphere vernal equinox, although occasionally
(7 times every 19 years) it will occur on the second full
moon. The Christian churches calculate Easter as the first
Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox.
The official church definition for the equinox is March 21;
however, as the Eastern Orthodox Churches use the older Julian
calendar, while the Western Churches use the Gregorian calendar,
both of which designate March 21 as the equinox, the actual
date of Easter differs.
The earliest possible Easter date in any year is therefore
March 22 on each calendar. The latest possible Easter date
in any year is April 25.
"Sweet April showers do spring May flowers."
- Thomas Tusser 1557, (A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry)
"If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once
a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and
not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be
in all hearts to behold the miraculous change! But now the
silent succession suggests nothing but necessity. To most
men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous
and the perpetual exercise of God's power seems less wonderful
than its withdrawal would be."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The first of April is the day we remember what we
are the other 364 days of the year."
- Mark Twain
"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."
- William Shakespeare
"April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of
the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain."
- T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922