# Through a couple of posts on Facebook by friends in the US, i learnt that 10 Apr was ‘Siblings Day.’
Apparently some states in the US recognise it as a holiday to honour the relationship among siblings. The concept has naturally caught on in other parts of the world and from India to Australia you find people sharing ‘sibling-bonding’ sentiments and photos on this day, even though it’s not a public holiday. Of course in India we have our own sibling bonding days ~ the festivals of Raksha-bandhan and Bhai-dooj.
# A quirky tradition, shared by another friend, comes from Korea. 14th April in Korea is known as Black Day and celebrates those who are single! It all begins on 14th Feb with Valentines Day. Traditionally the females buy the gifts for the males. Usually these are chocolates and are interpreted to symbolise a man’s popularity. Then on March 14th they have White Day, where the man returns the favour with chocolates and other gifts to show his love for the woman he cares for. The ‘white’ probably refers to the fact that it is customary to gift white chocolates and marshmallows on this day. Black Day takes it to another level by focussing on sorry singles who did not receive any gifts on either of the two days. So on April 14th the singles gather wearing black—black dresses, black nail polish, black accessories, black shoes. They feast on black drinks (black coffee sales spike up!) and and eat black food (it’s called jjajang-myeon—noodles covered in black bean paste!) and generally have a celebration/mourning (the choice being a personal perspective!) of not being in a relationship! Naturally these days are targeted by commercial establishments who cash in by organising events and offering discounts. With our virtual inter-connectedness, the fad is catching up in other parts of the world too and may soon be a part of the April calendar!!
# And now for another unusual one called the Green Moon Day on 20th April. If you own an email, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any other social media account, chances are that you would have received a meme with a picture of a green-moon that proclaims,
“On April 20th 2016 several planets are going to align which will cause the Earth’s moon to appear green for about 90 minutes. This phenomenon is known as ‘Green Moon’ and only happens once every 420 years. Please share this event.”
No prizes for guessing the message is just another hoax! Science and astronomy experts have dismissed it as another ‘urban legend’. One website actually made an interesting observation that the date (4/20) and the ‘420 years’ mention is a sly reference to ‘Weed Day’, which is celebrated by pot smokers on April 20 because a long running ‘code word’ for marijuana is ‘420’!!
# A more meaningful dedication happens on April 22nd which is celebrated as Earth Day, in honour of our planet which we need to protect.The day aims to inspire awareness of and appreciation for our environment. A lot of outdoor events are organised with groups performing acts of service to our planet earth, typical ones include planting trees, picking up roadside trash and conducting various programmes for recycling and conservation. First observed in 1970, the day is now coordinated globally by Earth Day Network and is celebrated in nearly 200 countries.
# Last year at this time we were on a tour of Uk where we learnt about England’s national Day on Apr 23rd. Also called St George’s Day, it is dedicated to the patron saint of England. The legend is that St George was a Roman soldier who killed a dragon to rescue a princess. More importantly the day is also William Shakespeare’s Birthday, traditionally ascribed to April 23,1564. The year 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. This has spurred a worldwide remembrance and acknowledgement of the incredible impact he has had on not just the English language but on world culture. Shakespeare festivals and programmes are being held around the globe to honour one whom many consider to be the world’s greatest playwright.
Since 1995 UNESCO has designated April 23 (as a homage to the Bard) as World Book and Copyright Day to promote reading, publishing and copyright.
# April 29th: International Dance Day
Many people still remember an event of 2014 when a group of 50 classical dancers came together to perform the world’s first flashmob of classical dancers at Chennai. The day they celebrated was International Dance Day on April 29th It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (better known as CID or Consil Internationale de la Dance, a UNESCO partner NGO). This special day is all about the history of dance and the recognition of its place in society. Every year the institute selects a special personality to create an International Dance Day message to be shared around the world. The intention is ~ “to celebrate dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language ~ dance.”
# Meanwhile some other days to mull over:
12th April: World Aviation and Cosmonautics Day
15th April: World Creativity and Innovation Week (Also Ram Navmi this year in our country!)
17th April: World Haemophilia Day
18 April World Heritage Day (international day for monuments and sites by UNESCO)
24 April: Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day
(all images sourced from the web)