19 Offbeat Holidays and Anniversaries You Can Celebrate in April
Don’t let this month’s showers get you down. April is springing forth with plenty of offbeat holidays and anniversaries to keep your days festive.
1. April 1: Dyngus Day
The name may make this holiday sound like an April Fools prank, or something you called your little brother when you were seven, but it’s a bonafide holiday. According to Buffalo’s official holiday website, “Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of Lent and the joy of Easter.” Some celebratory activities include men chasing around women to drench them with water, and hitting them with pussy willow branches. So basically, Dyngus Day is spring break.
2. April 4: National Tell-A-Lie Day
Honesty is generally the best policy, according to one of our founding fathers. But today, you have carte blanche to fib your heart out.
3. April 6: Sorry Charlie Day
Contrary to what you may think, this holiday is unrelated to any persons by the name of Charles or Charlie. It’s actually a day to reflect upon the rejections you have experienced in life and realize the world kept spinning despite them. Sorry Charlie, maybe next time.
4. April 6: New Beers Eve
In 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act allowed production of beer to resume in the United States, with the caveat that any beer produced would not exceed 3.2 percent alcohol by weight. On April 7, the act became law, and beer production began—thus marking the imminent end of Prohibition. This is the day to honor your God-given right to throw back a refreshing cold one (if you’re 21). Cheers!
5. April 10: 88th Anniversary of The Great Gatsby
Come on Old Sport, leave your old East Egg hang-ups for the go-go green lights of West Egg and relive the Roaring Twenties with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel on this anniversary of its publication.
6. April 12: Cosmonautics Day
Remember the space race? Today is the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight. On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into the great beyond and circled the Earth for almost two hours. It’s a national holiday in Russia, and likely a national grudge in the United States.
7. April 12: Drop Everything and Read Day
Also known as D.E.A.R. Day, this holiday encourages you to abandon all prior commitments for the comfort of a good book. It also coincides with the birthday of children’s book author Beverly Cleary, who is a spokesperson for the event. Though marketed towards children, celebration is open to everyone. However, if you happen to be holding a heavy object when the clock strikes 12, perhaps you should think of the holiday as “Set Everything Down Gently, and Read” Day.
8. April 14: National Reach as High as You Can Day
National Reach as High as You Can Day is really about grounding yourself in reality. Don’t reach for the stars if you can’t actually touch them—know your limitations. Set attainable goals, and take pleasure in being just good enough.
9. April 16: National Stress Awareness Day
Relax. It’s that easy to celebrate. Maybe also turn off your computer, email, and phone.
10. April 17: 125th Anniversary of the English Football League
In 1888, there were rumblings among English football clubs that perhaps a national league system should be developed amongst them. A meeting at the Royal Hotel in Manchester on this day yielded the name of the competition, though the first matches of the new national league did not commence until September. To this day, the English Football League has grown and evolved into a complex system, upon which the Premier League rests at the top. Americans should accept this as proof once and for all that “soccer” had the name “football” staked out first.
11. April 17: National Haiku Poetry Day
From Japan It Comes
Short Poetry, Fun to Write
12. April 20: Lima Bean Respect Day
Much like Rodney Dangerfield, the lima bean doesn’t get any respect. Well not today! Did you know lima beans are an excellent source of fiber? They also help balance your blood sugar and lower cholesterol. So give this white bean a break for being so bland, and try extolling its more admirable qualities for the day.
13. April 22: National Jelly Bean Day
Now here’s a bean everyone can get behind. Don’t worry: you don’t have to eat the popcorn-flavored ones if you don’t want to.
14. April 22: Earth Day
To find out how you can make every day Earth Day, or just to celebrate Earth Day, check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s dedicated website.
15. April 23: Talk Like Shakespeare Day
We have of late, but wherefore we know not, lost all our mirth. What a perfect day to get it back! In honor of the Bard’s 449th birthday, drop some thous and thees, master iambic pentameter, and cast people away by exclaiming “get thee to a nunnery!” Talk Like Shakespeare Day is the one time of year you can express yourself in rhyming couplets; wethinks thou oughtest useth the opportunity.
16. April 25: International DNA Day (aka the 10th Anniversary of Human Genome Project Completion)
Unlike many holidays in the Offbeat Family, DNA Day has formal U.S. Congressional recognition. Sixty years ago on this day, scientists first published papers in Nature on the structural makeup of DNA. Fifty years later in 2003, the Human Genome Project was declared to be nearly complete. The National Human Genome Research Institute has since developed activities and celebrations to honor the holiday. Their efforts thus far have been so convincing that many groups have since adopted the holiday as International DNA Day.
17. April 26: Hug an Australian Day
Created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcat.com, this holiday honors the folks from Down Under. Find an Aussie you love and respect, actually anyone from Oz will do, and wrap your arms tightly around them.
18. April 27: Morse Code Day
Break out your best dots and dashes, it’s the birthday of Samuel Finley Breese Morse—co-inventor of the eponymous Morse Code. These days any Joe Schmoe can try his hand at transmitting lights, clicks, and tones to send a secret message. But this system of communication used to be a highly specialized field that required a license and a proclivity for spying on communists.
19. April 28: 10th Anniversary of the iTunes Store
Apple first debuted iTunes in 2001, but the company's retail outlet for media entered this world as the iTunes Music Store. These days, with the addition of film, television, and podcasts to its repertoire, the “music” is gone from its name. But music still plays a large role in its dominance of the international market. Since launching in 2003, the iTunes Store has sold more than 25 billion songs.