As we leave March behind, spring flowers have started to bloom, the days are getting longer, and winter's chill is fading away. Do you still need more reasons to celebrate? We've created an April calendar full of holidays and other quirky reasons to make your month a little bit happier.
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April 1: April Fool’s Day
As always, April Fool's Day falls on the first of the month, so you can kick it off with some lighthearted pranks. Keep in mind that pranks can sometimes escalate, and not everyone enjoys being the butt of a joke, so take care to respect the wishes of those people who don't want to participate. A practical joke that everyone can enjoy? Prep some fake-out foods like a mashed potato "sundae" or "fried egg" cake.
April Fool's Day is also known as "All Fools Day " and it has been celebrated for centuries. Some historians believe that it originated in 1582 when the switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar caused the first day of the year to move from late March/early April to January. 1. Those who didn't get the message were "all fools."
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April 2: PB&J Day
Peanut butter and jelly is a lunchroom staple, so it's no wonder the sweet and savory sammie gets its own day of celebration, each April 2. The origin of this national day is unknown, but Boston writer Julia Davis Chandler is the first to mention pairing peanut "paste" with jelly on bread, in an article written in 1901.
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April 3: National Chocolate Mousse Day
Both airy and decadent, chocolate mousse makes for a romantic dessert, whether you're prepping dessert for two or looking to impress a crowd. April 3 is National Chocolate Mouse Day, a day to celebrate this dessert originating in France. The French developed edible chocolate in about 1650, and a century later they began publishing recipes for the "mousse" technique. A national day of celebration was inevitable.
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April 4: World Rat Day
Though you may shudder at the thought of them lurking in your kitchen, rats actually make great pets. They are intelligent, social animals that are easily tamed and trained. Still not convinced? Learn more about Rattus norvegicus and find out if they are the right pet for you. World Rat Day was created in 2002 by James Kitlock and Robyn Arthur, rat lovers who wanted to give recognition to their favorite pet.Continue to 5 of 30 below.
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April 5: National Caramel Day
On this day we celebrate a classic chewy candy with National Caramel Day. The origins of this celebration are unclear, but the form of chewy caramel we now love dates back to the 18th century. Caramel is formed by heating a mixture of various types of sugar until the molecules break down to form a new compound—a process known as "caramelization."
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April 6: National Twinkie Day
Believe it or not, Hostess Twinkies have been around since 1930 (and some folks claim that Twinkies actually last forever). Despite Hostess filing for bankruptcy in 2012, it looks like Twinkies are here to stay. Looking for a more decadent version of this 1930s treat? Try deep-frying Twinkies, just like the ones available at country fairs.
National Twinkie Day was first formally celebrated in 2012, the same year Hostess went out of business. The Twinkie reappeared on store shelves just a year later, now manufactured by company purchaser Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co.
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April 7: National Beer Day
Beer has come a long way from its early days as a watered-down, bitter beverage, and the craft beer movement has introduced people to varieties beyond the standard American lager. To celebrate National Beer Day, skip your go-to six-pack and opt to try a new brew. From stouts to sours, there are 90 different styles, and thousands of different beers to sample. For those of you who don't like beer, give the humble brewski one more shot, and try a style of beer with characteristics like your favorite beverage.
National Beer Day commemorates the passing of the Cullen-Harrison Act of 1933, a piece of legislation that legalized the sale of 3.2% beer during Prohibition.
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April 8: Draw a Picture of a Bird Day
Spring means more green, more flowers, and more birds! Whether you're an enthusiastic backyard birder or a dedicated hobbyist, almost everyone enjoys catching sight and sound of a pretty bird. Put your pencil to paper to capture the moment today. You don't have to be artistic to enjoy this activity—this moment can be just about taking some time for yourself!
Draw-a-Picture-of-a-Bird Day is thought to date back to 1943, when a young girl, Dorie Cooper, visited her uncle (an injured vet) in the hospital and asked him to draw a bird. The game lifted her uncle's spirits, and when the girl was tragically killed three years later, mourners fill her funeral with dozens of bird pictures and drawings.Continue to 9 of 30 below.
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April 9: Cherish an Antique Day
Forget the saying "Out with the old and in with the new." Cherish an Antique Day, April 9, is meant for celebrating the older, refined items of years past. Whether you're an antique collector or simply like admiring items of previous decades, take some time to shop for antiques, read up on the history of them, or sort through family heirlooms.
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April 10: National Siblings Day
They may have annoyed us when we were younger, but few people know us as intimately as do our siblings. Take a moment today to call your brother or sister and reminisce about all those times you drove each other (and your parents) crazy.
National Siblings Day was created by native New Yorker, Claudia Evart in 1995, who wanted to celebrate the importance of siblings after losing her own two siblings early in life.
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April 11: National Pet Day
From the humble goldfish to towering quadrupeds, pets are there to comfort us when we're feeling low, provide unconditional love, and often entertainment. Sure, they might be a little weird and sometimes misbehave, but they're part of our families. Give your furry (or scaly or feathered) friend a little extra love (and some treats!) today.
Animal welfare advocate and lifestyle expert Colleen Paige founded National Pet Day in 2006.
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April 12: Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Whether we're talking about a simple slice of American cheese on white bread or aged brie on sourdough, grilled cheese always makes for an awesome lunch. Whip up one of these grilled cheese sammies for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert to celebrate.
Although cheese-filled sandwiches have been around nearly forever, the term "grilled cheese" seems to date back only to the 1960s, when it first appeared in a cookbook and advertising. Before that point, such sandwiches were always known as "toasted cheese" or "melted cheese," which became popular shortly after Kraft's processed single-slice cheese found its way between pieces of sliced bread—1949 is the date usually given for the widespread sale of Kraft Singles.Continue to 13 of 30 below.
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April 13: National Scrabble Day
Wait, is "quijibo" really a word? Over the years, we've had our fair share of surprise triple word scores, heated dictionary deliberations and maybe some tile throwing (see: National Siblings Day). No one seems to know when National Scrabble Day was created, but the April 13 date celebration honors the birth of game-inventor Alfred Mosher Butts, born on April 13, 1899.
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April 14: National Pecan Day
People have been enjoying pecans since the 16th century—George Washington was even reported to have been a fan! What better way to celebrate than to whip up a batch of pecan candies, a classic pecan pie, or some other pecan desserts.
National Pecan Day has been celebrated in the U.S. since 1996. It was launched by the National Pecan Shellers Association.
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April 15: National Glazed Spiral Ham Day
There's more than one way to glaze a ham. Soda, maple syrup, pineapple, and honey are all tried and true ways to sweeten up a classic baked ham. Find out how to use up leftovers in a breakfast casserole or whip up a savory ham sandwich. It's also a nice way to spoil yourself after having to file taxes.
The origins of National Glazed Spiral Ham Day are unknown. The process for slicing a ham using a continuous spiral cut was patented by entrepreneur Harry J. Hoenselaar in 1952, who then founded the HoneyBaked Ham company in 1957. In 1981, the patent expired, opening the door for many other companies to sell this form of ham.
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April 16: National Eggs Benedict Day
What's brunch without Eggs Benedict? Rich Hollandaise sauce, a perfectly yolky egg, a fluffy biscuit, and thick slices of Canadian bacon make up the classic dish that'll have you licking your lips before noon. National Eggs Benedict Day celebrates this popular dish.
The dish known as eggs Benedict originated either when a stockbroker named Lemuel Benedict described the dish to chefs at the Waldorf Hotel in 1894, or because Pope Benedict XIII ordered this dish repeated during the early 18th century. Take your pick of origin legends.Continue to 17 of 30 below.
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April 17: International Haiku Poetry Day
A form of poetry originating in Japan, a Haiku usually consists of three lines, the first and third containing five syllables and the middle line containing seven. Celebrate this beautiful form of art by writing some of your own, checking out a book of them at the library, or finding a few to read online.
April is National Poetry Month, and April 17 has been International Haiku Poetry Day since the day was registered as such by Sari Grandstaff in 2007. It was adopted as s a project of The Haiku Foundation in 2012.
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April 18: Pet Owners Independence Day
Do you own a pet? Then this holiday is all about celebrating YOU. Whether you're a cat lady, a dog dad, or have a whole family of tail-wagging, purring, all-around cuddly friends, you'll surely enjoy taking a day to lounge in a sunny spot, walk in the park, or do whatever it is that your pet loves doing, too.
It's not definitively clear who originated Pet Owner's Independence Day, but according to WellCat.com, it was created by Ruth and Thomas Roy, owners of the business. WellCat has been promoting the celebration since 2002.
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April 19: National Garlic Day
After butter and salt, this vegetable ranks among our favorite ways to add flavor to a dish. Garlic is surprisingly simple to grow and can thrive in a vegetable garden or planters.
National Garlic Day is dedicated to celebrating this "stinking rose" in the kitchen and in history. After all, this is an herb once thought to cure the bubonic plague, and which today is reputed to lower cholesterol and improve immunity.
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April 20: National Garden Month
April is National Garden Month, and what better way to celebrate than by planting some flowers or veggies. For those folks born without a green thumb, try your hand at low-maintenance perennials like coneflowers or hard-to-kill houseplants. No yard? Learn how to create an indoor herb garden or grow your favorite plants on your balcony or porch in containers.
National Garden Month has long been recognized by the National Gardening Association. But unlike many such celebrations, National Garden Month has also been recognized by the U.S. government, ever since Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack officially proclaimed it a National Day in 2015.Continue to 21 of 30 below.
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April 21: British National Tea Day
Anglophiles everywhere may want to set aside April 21, British Tea Day, for special observance. This the day that Brits celebrate the hot drink that has been their favorite for more than two centuries.
Perhaps more importantly for some Americans, April 21 marks the day when there are just 60 days left until the first official day of summer. Get your grill in tip-top shape, start pulling lightweight clothes out of storage, prep your pool and brainstorm some fun summer activities.
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April 22: Earth Day
April 22, 1970, was the very first Earth Day, and the date has been observed every year since as the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement.
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April 23: National Picnic Day
Pack a picnic lunch and soak up some early spring sunshine today. Start with some sandwiches and an easy dessert, add some lemonade and you've got a feast fit for spring.
The word "picnic" derives from the French piquenique, meaning a meal eaten outdoors. A picnic truly became a "thing" during the early 19th century, when a group of wealthy London citizens formed “The Picnic Society” featuring shared potluck dishes and informal entertainment.
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April 24: Arbor Day (or National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day)
Since 1872, Arbor Day has been observed as a day to encourage tree planting and to raise awareness of the importance of trees and forests. Started by a journalist named J. Sterling Morton, today it is a worldwide observance.
If you're not the outdoors type, you can also celebrate National Pigs-in-Blanket Day on this date, when you can reverently celebrate one of the simplest of all recipes—a hot dog or sausage baked inside bread dough. When this celebration was created (or why anyone would do it) isn't known.Continue to 25 of 30 below.
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April 25: World Penguin Day
Forever dressed in formal attire and waddling around, penguins are charming oddities of the bird world. There are actually 18 distinct penguin species, found on four different continents.
World Penguin Day is said to have begun in 1972 when Californian Gerry Wallace jotted down the "event" on his wife’s calendar. From then on, the couple celebrated the date annually, and somewhat inexplicably its popularity gradually spread worldwide. April 25 is also the date that the Adelie penguins begin their migration northward toward Antarctica.
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April 26: National Pretzel Day
Pretzels may a go-to snack for modern-day sporting events, but origins of this baked good can actually be traced back to monks in the Middle Ages. Delicious dipped in mustard or chocolate, wrapped around a hot dog, or shaped into a roll, this salty baked good is a bit tricky to make from scratch but well worth the effort.
National Pretzel Day is observed each April 26. It began in 2003 when Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 as the day to recognize the importance of the pretzel to the state's history and economy.
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April 27: National Prime Rib Day
April 27 is National Prime Rib Day, observed each year on this date. Often considered the "King of Meats," prime rib arguably the finest cut of beef there is. You can celebrate this day by making your favorite prime rib recipe, or enjoy prime rib at your favorite restaurant.
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April 28: National Blueberry Pie Day
April 28 gives you the perfect excuse to indulge your sweet tooth thanks to National Blueberry Pie Day. Make a blueberry pie and share it with friends, family, or coworkers. Add a scoop of ice cream and you've got yourself the perfect spring treat!Continue to 29 of 30 below.
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April 29: National Peace Rose Day
A popular hybrid tea rose, the Peace rose certainly will bring beauty to any garden. Find some time to get outside today and plant these beauties while the sun is shining.
The Peace rose was developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland between 1935 and 1939, and he was able to send cuttings to Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the U.S. just before his country was invaded by Hitler's forces. It was named the Peace rose in the U.S. just as World War II was ending. National Peace Rose Day is observed on the yearly anniversary of when the rose's name was announced publicly—April 29, 1945. A Peace rose was given to each delegate at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in 1946.
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April 30: National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
If you're looking to add a pet to your home, visit your local shelter or use a service like PetFinder to see what animals are available for adoption in your area. Shelters often deal with an influx of kittens and puppies in the spring and may even offer reduced adoption fees to help place more animals in homes. If you don't have the space for another critter, you can still help by volunteering to walk dogs or by donating old linens, newspapers, and other items.
Adopt a Shelter Pet Day was created to raise awareness for the millions of animals awaiting adoption in shelters across the U.S. It is sponsored by the American Humane Society.