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16 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in April

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There's plenty to celebrate this month, even if you don't like jelly beans or pranks. 

1. April 1: National Fun at Work Day

This is, of course, timed to coincide with April Fools Day, but also encourages employees to not limit their idea of fun to pranks. What about ice cream cake? Ice cream cake is fun, too.

2. April 2: Pascua Florida Day

This holiday commemorates the first landing on what is now Florida by Ponce de León in 1513. It's not known exactly when he first stepped ashore, but the name he bestowed upon the land gives some indication—Pascua means "Easter" and Florida means "flowering." It's a legal holiday in the state.

3. April 7: National Beer Day

On March 22, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing the sale of beer (as long as it was 3.2 percent alcohol by weight or less) after many years of Prohibition. The thirsty public had to wait two long weeks before they could legally imbibe again, and on April 7, the law finally went into effect. Beer drinkers around the country rejoiced, and celebrated with a nice cold one, presumably.

4. April 9: Anniversary of Jumbo the Elephant Arriving in America

This elephant was captured in Africa in 1861, when he was just a young calf, and taken to the London Zoo and given the nickname "Jumbo," for the West African word for elephant. Jumbo was a tremendously popular attraction at the Zoo for many years, and in 1882, P. T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, purchased the elephant for $10,000. On April 9, Jumbo arrived in Manhattan and enjoyed such fame stateside that his name entered our lexicon.

5. April 10: National Siblings Day

Hannah Keyser

Dedicated, as it was last year, to Emelye, Benjamin, and Samuel Keyser.

6. April 12: National Licorice Day

Specifically to celebrate the oft-debated black licorice.

7. April 14: National Library Workers Day

Thank your local librarian today!

8. and 9. April 15: National Take a Wild Guess Day and National That Sucks Day

Both perfectly-timed to coincide with tax day.

10. April 16: National High Five Day

You don't have to worry about taxes for a full year. High five!

11. April 17: National Haiku Poetry Day

Celebrate with your
Own haiku that is likely
Much better than mine.

12. April 22: Earth Day

This is the 45th anniversary of the international celebration of the planet we all call home.

13. April 23: World Book Night

On Shakespeare's birthday passionate volunteers hand out books in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Germany.

14. April 25: Anniversary of the First License Plate

On this day in 1901, New York became the first state to require license plates on automobiles.

15. April 26: National Pretzel Day

First celebrated in 1983, this is a day to partake in, and admire, the salted snack.

16. April 30: International Jazz Day

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is responsible for this holiday, which celebrates its fourth edition this year. Schools, communities, and even government organizations around the world will host programs to highlight the diplomatic role of jazz in bringing people together.

For an even more exhaustive list of holidays, historical anniversaries and notable birthdays, check out Chase's Calendar of Events.

All images courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
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Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

1. PANGANGALULUWA // THE PHILIPPINES

Rice cakes wrapped in leaves.
Suman

The earliest form of trick-or-treating on Halloween can be traced back to Europe in the Middle Ages. Kids would don costumes and go door-to-door offering prayers for dead relatives in exchange for snacks called "soul cakes." When the cake was eaten, tradition held that a soul was ferried from purgatory into heaven. Souling has disappeared from Ireland and the UK, but a version of it lives on halfway across the world in the Philippines. During All Saints Day on November 1, Filipino children taking part in Pangangaluluwa will visit local houses and sing hymns for alms. The songs often relate to souls in purgatory, and carolers will play the part of the souls by asking for prayers. Kids are sometimes given rice cakes called suman, a callback to the soul cakes from centuries past.

2. PÃO-POR-DEUS // PORTUGAL

Raw dough.
iStock

Instead of trick-or-treating, kids in Portugal go door-to-door saying pão-por-deus ("bread for god") in exchange for goodies on All Saints Day. Some homeowners give out money or candy, while others offer actual baked goods.

3. HALLOWEEN APPLES // WESTERN CANADA

Kids trick-or-treating.
iStock

If they're not calling out "trick-or-treat" on their neighbors’ doorsteps on Halloween night, you may hear children in western Canada saying "Halloween apples!" The phrase is left over from a time when apples were a common Halloween treat and giving out loose items on the holiday wasn't considered taboo.

4. ST. MARTIN'S DAY // THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch wait several days after Halloween to do their own take on trick-or-treating. On the night of November 11, St. Martin's Day, children in the Netherlands take to the streets with their homemade lanterns in hand. These lanterns were traditionally carved from beets or turnips, but today they’re most commonly made from paper. And the kids who partake don’t get away with shouting a few words at each home they visit—they’re expected to sing songs to receive their sugary rewards.

5. A PENNY FOR THE GUY // THE UK

Guy Fawkes Night celebration.

Peter Trimming, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Guy Fawkes Night is seen by some as the English Protestants’ answer to the Catholic holidays associated with Halloween, so it makes sense that it has its own spin on trick-or-treating. November 5 marks the day of Guy Fawkes’s failed assassination attempt on King James as part of the Gunpowder Plot. To celebrate the occasion, children will tour the neighborhood asking for "a penny for the guy." Sometimes they’ll carry pictures of the would-be-assassin which are burned in the bonfires lit later at night.

6. TRICKS FOR TREATS // ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Kids knocking on a door in costume.
iStock

If kids in the St. Louis area hope to go home with a full bag of candy on Halloween, they must be willing to tickle some funny bones. Saying "tricks-for-treats" followed by a joke replaces the classic trick-or-treat mantra in this Midwestern city. There’s no criteria for the quality or the subject of the joke, but spooky material (What’s a skeleton’s favorite instrument? The trombone!) earns brownie points.

7. ME DA PARA MI CALAVERITA // MEXICO

Sugar skulls with decoration.
iStock

While Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is completely separate from Halloween, the two holidays share a few things in common. Mexicans celebrate the day by dressing up, eating sweet treats, and in some parts of the country, going house-to-house. Children knocking on doors will say "me da para mi calaverita" or "give me money for my little skull," a reference to the decorated sugar skulls sold in markets at this time of year.

8. HALLOWEEN! // QUEBEC, CANADA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
iStock

Trick-or-treaters like to keep things simple in the Canadian province of Quebec. In place of the alliterative exclamation, they shout “Halloween!” at each home they visit. Adults local to the area might remember saying "la charité s’il-vous-plaît "(French for “charity, please”) when going door-to-door on Halloween, but this saying has largely fallen out of fashion.

9. SWEET OR SOUR // GERMANY

Little girl trick-or-treating.
iStock

Halloween is only just beginning to gain popularity in Germany. Where it is celebrated, the holiday looks a lot like it does in America, but Germans have managed to inject some local character into their version of trick-or-treat. In exchange for candy, kids sometimes sing out "süß oder saures"—or "sweet and sour" in English.

10. TRIQUI, TRIQUI HALLOWEEN // COLOMBIA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
Rubí Flórez, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Kids in Colombia anticipate dressing up and prowling the streets on Halloween just as much as kids do in the States. There are a few significant variations on the annual tradition: Instead of visiting private residencies, they're more likely to ask for candy from store owners and the security guards of apartment buildings. And instead of saying trick-or-treat, they recite this Spanish rhyme:

Triqui triqui Halloween
Quiero dulces para mí
Si no hay dulces para mí
Se le crece la naríz

In short, it means that if the grownups don't give the kids the candy they're asking for, their noses will grow. Tricky, tricky indeed

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10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
Original image
iStock

Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

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