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The April Calendar of Celebrations, Part One

Party (or bake, or read...) every day!

By TheSpinstressPublished 3 years ago 9 min read
Top Story - March 2021
The April Calendar of Celebrations, Part One
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Spring is here, hopefully, and the world is beginning to emerge from more than a year of lockdowns, shutdowns and states-of-emergency. Our freedom and safety might still be fragile but the time is starting to feel right for a celebration...or thirty.

Unfortunately, we're not used to thinking of every day as an opportunity to be joyful and think about something fun. Some of the best observances are well kept secrets. I'd like to change that, so here's my complete guide to all the holidays, festivals and special days I'd love to celebrate this April, part one - they won't all fit in one article!

If you have some inconvenient circumstances, like a job or family, that mean you won't be able to party for 30 days straight, you can save some of them for next April. I've chosen days that aren't moveable; they're celebrated every year on the same date. So this list could keep you going for years, if you wanted!

You can skim it now and run with the ones you like, or open it any day in April that you feel like celebrating or have some time off. Personally, I can't wait for April the 4th or 12th. Read on to find out why!

By Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

April 1st

April Fools' Day is so passé. This year, why not do Edible Book Day? Every year, thousands of contenders make books you can eat. Judging by the Instagram tag #ediblebookfestival, cakes are by far the most popular choice, but you can make anything. The only rules are it has to edible and fit the literature theme!

April 2nd

Another one for the literary-minded; April 2nd is International Children's Book Day. Founded in 1966 to promote reading for children, it seems like a great excuse for re-reading one or two of your favourite children's books, despite being far too old. If you have children in your life, you can try sharing what you loved at their age, but don't be disappointed if they just don't get it. Children's media can be just as much of a time and place as adults', and a lot of our fond memories of childhood are no more than 50% quality of story, with the other 50% made up of pure nostalgia.

Instead, ask your little readers to share what they like; their enthusiasm will make you smile. In non-pandemic times, I'd recommend a celebratory trip to your local library, but for most of us that's probably not an option. Luckily, you might still have some edible books left over from yesterday to console you!

April 3rd

"Party is the opposite of war," according to the original organisers of World Party Day, first celebrated in 1996. This makes me wonder what kind of parties these people have been attending; in my experience War makes an appearance at quite a few parties. These days, he is usually accompanied by Pestilence. Party is the opposite of Famine, I reckon.

Still, the idea is nice, and we could all do with a party, especially since it falls on a Saturday this year. Why not make yourself some nice fancy drinks or nibbles and have a loud one at home? There are some awesome ideas for party food in this vocal post.

April 4th

It's World Carrot Day! This one is probably my favourite so far. It's a great excuse to make cake, without the stress of making it book-shaped. I might try this refreshingly honest carrot cake recipe. There are healthy ways to prepare carrots, of course, but don't be relying on me to find them for you! Besides, eating too many carrots can make you turn orange. You don't want to overdo it!

Easter 2021 also falls on April 4th in most of Europe, but I'm sure the bunnies are actually more interested in the carrots. By all means celebrate them together!

By Miggz on Unsplash

April 5th

This one was really difficult; there aren't many celebratory international days on April the 5th. So I've borrowed an American National Day - Deep Dish Pizza Day! Hopefully they're not too offended.

The means of celebration ought to be obvious; after all your disturbingly nutritious carrot consumption yesterday, you can now sink into cheesy oblivion with deep dish pizza, a truly American variation. In fact, an Italian study found that consumption of pizza was linked with a reduced risk of oesophagal cancer, so it's probaby just as good as the carrots. In fact, it's probably kinder to the bunnies if we leave World Carrot Day to them and just suffer through two Deep Dish Pizza Days.

April 6th

Isn't it great how all these observances are fitting together? Yesterday you pigged out on pizza; today, you get to burn it all off with the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. It may be nearly as much of a mouthful as the deep dish, but it's all in a good cause. This year, like last, some of the celebrations will be curtailed by COVID, but you can check here for inspiration on how to celebrate at home.

The 2021 IDSDP logo.

April 7th

International Snailpapers Day! No, I didn't know what a snailpaper was either - I thought it was going to be some gross thing where you make a snail slide across a bit of paper and something with it? It doesn't bear thinking about.

Which is why it's lucky that that you don't have to do anything with snails! Snailpapers, presumably by analogy with 'snail mail' for paper letters, are traditional newspapers. This is your day to go out and buy one, perhaps for the first time in your life, you whippersnapper!

I do this occasionally anyway, though almost never on a weekday. There's something very luxurious about a full-scale multi-supplement Saturday newspaper. My favourite has at least four magazines and would easily take all day to read if you tried to get everything.

Incidentally, if you're American, I'm jealous - you really have it made on this day. It's also National Coffee Cake Day and National No-Housework Day! Kick back and relax.

April 8th

Here's another great event to celebrate with children. Draw a Bird Day came about during the Second World War when little Dorie Cooper visited her wounded uncle in hospital and asked him to draw her a bird. Her blunt reaction to his attempt at a robin - telling him it wasn't very good - cheered up her uncle and his fellow soldiers. Drawing birds for Dorie became a popular activity on the ward.

Sadly, the little girl was killed in a car accident just three years later. Her friends and family decided to remember her by drawing birds on her birthday every year. The special day has its own website and Facebook page, complete with galleries of previous attempts.

By Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

April 9th

This is the day to commemorate one of the most famous elephants in history, Jumbo. He arrived in America on April 9th 1882, hence this day being marked as Jumbo Day. Before that, he had lived in London Zoo for nearly twenty years.

Although he was widely celebrated and loved by the millions who visited him, the African elephant had a sad backstory: he was taken into captivity by hunters after they slaughtered his mother. Given what we now know about the intelligence and capacity for grief possessed by elephants, it's heartbreaking to think of how this baby was treated. On top of that, its likely his diet in captivity was inadequate, and upon his accidental death many non-food items ignorantly fed to him by the public were found in his stomach.

All that said, perhaps the best way to commemorate Jumbo Day is to learn something about elephants or contribute to their conservation. You could even adopt one through the WWF and get a cute welcome pack!

April 10th

The safety pin is the kind of humble household object that we hardly think about from one day to the next, which I think is testament to its incredible success as an invention. We've all used one at some point, and for that we have to thank one Walter Hunt, who patented them on this day in 1849.

There's no reason to spend the day using them practically - we've only got so many pieces of fabric that need to be stuck together, right? Instead, you could check out this incredible Pinterest board with ideas for safety pin crafts, from jewellery to sculpture. After you've put together your masterpiece, you can proudly show it off on social media with the hashtag #safetypinday.

April 11th

This is International Louie Louie day, an April celebration for the classic song. You might think you haven't heard it, but you definitely have. You can hear the most famous version recorded by the Kingsmen at the following Youtube link. If you're not a fan of this one, never fear, as dozens of versions have been recorded. You're destined to find your ideal Louie Louie on this day.

April 12th

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin completed the first human space flight, orbiting the earth twice. To celebrate the achievements of this daredevil adventurer, his team, and all the space pioneers since, the International Day of Human Space Flight is celebrated every 12th of April.

There don't seem to be any established traditions for marking this day. I would be tempted to set off some fireworks, but it seems a little unfair to any neighbourhood cats and dogs! Luckily, there are at least two different cocktails called the Cosmonaut to choose from. If you're feeling classy, Grey Goose has its own recipe with La Poire, Caradamom bitters and ginger liqueur. For the slightly more cheapskate amongst us, there's this simple one:

  • 2oz/60ml gin
  • 1 barspoon (don't panic, I already googled - it's 5ml, like a regular teaspoon) raspberry jam
  • 0.75oz/20ml lemon juice

Shake with ice and enjoy your space cocktail!

April 13th

I might not be the best person to write about International Plant Appreciation Day, which falls on April the 13th. I had a spider plant when I was about 8 years old which did phenomenally well, sprouting 8 or 10 baby spider plants which then had to be found their own pots and rehomed, but it was a fluke. I've killed everything green I've got my hands on since then.

Thankfully, this day is for plant appreciation, wild plants included, meaning you don't have to grow any! Anyone can, and should, celebrate this day. The benefits of having plants around you include cleaner air, diminished stress and a higher chance of seeing cute critters because they're provided with a habitat. (And not-so-cute critters, but let's not dwell on that.)

I'll be spending some of the day outside, appreciating the beauty of nature and recovering from my Cosmonaut-induced hangover. If you're more green-fingered than me and want to get busy in the garden, you can find inspiring ideas for what fruit, vegetables and flowers to grow here.

By Melissa Keizer on Unsplash

April 14th

It's International Moment of Laughter Day today, invented by humorologist Izzy Gesell. If you didn't know that was a job, you're not alone - but doesn't it sound like a great one?

I say, why limit yourself to one moment of laughter? Stick on your favourite silly sitcom and have a bunch of them. You can be high-minded about your entertainment tomorrow.

April 15th

World Art Day is celebrated on the birthday of one of the world's favourite artists, Leonardo da Vinci. It was first declared a special day in 2012 and has been marked every year since.

If you're artistically inclined yourself, you can submit either one or two works to the official virtual celebration for 2021. It's on the theme of You're Not Alone. Whether you submit or not, you have a full month to view the virtual exhibit, from World Art Day itself on April 15th to May 15th.

Unfortunately, national galleries in the UK will not be open by then, although commercial galleries will be. If they're open where you are, it would be great to pay them a visit - they will certainly appreciate your support.

By Kadir Celep on Unsplash

I hope you get to enjoy some of these celebrations this April. Personally, I can't wait to get down to some baking for World Carrot Day and trying my hand at a deep dish pizza. Watch this space for part 2 -there's plenty more obscure and wonderful holidays to celebrate!


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