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April Shower Folklore
A cold and moist April fills the cellar and fattens the cow.
Better April showers than the breadth of the ocean in gold.
In April, each drop counts for a thousand. — Spanish proverb
April rain is worth David's chariot. — French proverb
Moist April, clear June.
A rainbow in spring indicates fair weather for the next 24 to 42 hours.
Expect rain if hens spread and ruffle their tail feathers.
April 1 — Gudi Padve
The Hindu New Year celebrated in India in the areas of Maharashtra, Andhra and parts of Karnataka. This festival is also called Ugadi. It coincides with the more quietly celebrated Vasant Navaratri dedicated to the goddess Gauri or Parvati. This is part of the month-long spring rites during which women wear festive garments and gather to share seasonal fruit and sweets.
April 1 — April Fool's Day
April 2 — Full Moon
The English call it the Egg Moon. Native Americans call it the Pink Moon. It's also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Fish Moon, the Seed Moon, the Waking Moon, and in India it is called Hanuman Jayanti.
April 4 — Ose Matsuri
Ose Shrine, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
This unique festival encourages men to dress in women's clothes and dance a lively jig on board a boat festooned with flags and streamers afloat in the harbour. On the shore, taiko groups play their drums and vendors sell local produce from colorful stalls.
April 8 — Easter
Semana Santa (Easter Week)
As far back as the 18th century, Semana Santa celebrations already were internationally reknowned as a mixture of spiritual, artistic, and emotionally-involving scenes and situations. The mixture of lights, sounds, smells, and touch involve the whole human experience, drawing the witness to open outwardly and to search inwardly, celebrating life and beliefs. It almost seems the sheer madness of jubilee and utter loss of color and mourning uniquely experienced by the Spaniards, and all of those who care to join in these festivities.
April 9 — Ramnavami, the Birthday Of Rama
The ninth day of the bright half of Chaitra is the birthday of Rama. On the Ramnavami day, people sing devotional bhajans in praise of Rama and rock images of him in cradles to celebrate his birth. There are recitations of Tulsi Ramayan, the epic which recounts the story of this great king.
April 11 -17 — Kamakura Festival
Japanese cherry blossoms are in full bloom when this major event takes place around Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine. The highlights of the festival are the Shizuka-no-mai dance held on the Maiden Dance Stage and the Yabusame, an event in which horse riders in samurai armor shoot at targets with a bow and arrow while on the move.
April 13 — Friggatriskaidekaphobia
Every year celebrates at least one month where Friday falls on the 13th, but no more than three. In 2007 we enjoy two Fridays the 13th, in April and July. Many consider this day the unluckiest of days in the calendar, unless one is born on Friday the 13th, in which case it the luckiest of days.
April 13 — Mahavir Jayanti: The Birth Of The Great Tirthankara
The most important festival of the Jains celebrates the birthday of their 24th Tirthankara, Mahavir, celebrated with solemnity and worship.
April 15 — Palio della Rana, the Golden Frog Race
The Sunday after Easter in the town of Fermignano, in the Marche region of Italy, contestants dressed in Medieval garb race their frogs in tiny wheelbarrows. The day before there is usually a pageant in historical costume and at night, a fireworks show.
April 20 — Akshaya Tritiya
Within India's traditions, Akshaya Tritiya is an auspicious day for new ventures, new beginnings. According to Deborah Rubin, "In the Vedic tradition, this day (Akshaya Tritiya) is known as the day when the Rishis, the ancient sages of India, performed the first yagya, a ceremony to enliven all the Laws of Nature. From then on, it was possible for all humanity to live life in fulfillment, deeply attuned to these laws. This is why Akshaya Tritiya is said to be an auspicious day for starting lasting achievements. This quality is particularly lively on this special day. In Vedic Astrology, Akshaya Tritiya occurs when both the Sun and the Moon are exalted casting their maximum beneficial influence."
Pooram the Indian celebration of the bejeweled elephants happens all throughout April and May. At the beginning of April, the people of Kerala begin their search for the best elephants in the state. Each temple in Kerala sends a procession of decorated elephants to Trichur to participate in the Pooram festival. The decorated elephant groups face each other while drums and nadaswarams create a crescendo of music. The festival ends with a spectacular display of fireworks.