Easter and Other April Holidays

This year, April 16 is Easter for both Western, and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The celebration of Jesus rising from the dead is the holiest Christian holiday or festival of the year. It is, however, not the only religious celebration of April.

In Hinduism, there is the festival of Hanuman Jayanti, celebrating Lord Hanuman. He is often called the son of the Wind God. The festival is the day when the Vanara god is believed to have taken birth. Known for his strong will, grit, and physical energy, Hanuman was able to assume any form. Devotees worship him and his magical strengths to ward off evil and any other troubles that have been affecting them.

In Buddhism, mainly in Southeast Asia, an April celebration is Theravada New Year. It is celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April. Theravada is from the Sanskrit and means “school of the elder monks.” In Burma and Laos, there is a custom to buy live fish and release them into the wild, thus showing compassion for living beings

In Judaism, the festival is called Pesach or Passover. This, of course, celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Back when Israel had been conquered by Rome, this was the day when nationalistic fervor ran highest, and the Jews hoped for deliverance from the Empire. Later in the month is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we remember all those Jews who died in the camps in World War II.

The Baha’i faith celebrates the 12 days of Ridvan this month. It was during the Festival of Ridvan that Baha’u’llah, for the first time, publicly declared His station as a Manifestation of God, as the Promised One foretold in all the world’s religions. He brought with Him a Revelation that heralded a new era – the beginning of the Baha’i Faith.

Lailat al Miraj is a Muslim holiday that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to the ‘Farthest Mosque’ in Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times daily.

And at the very end of the month on April 30 at moonrise begins Beltane, the Celtic/Pagan spring festival, rejoicing in the returning fertility of the earth.

Quotes about April and Spring

April is hope.–Gladys Taber

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.–T. S. Eliot

April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it.–Hal Borland

Suddenly a mist of green on the trees, as quiet as thought.–Dorothy M. Richardson

Spring would not be spring without bird songs.–Francis M. Chapman

Spring was running in a thin green flame over the valley.–Ellen Glasgow

Spring still makes spring in the mind
When sixty years are told.
Love wakes anew this throbbing heart,
And we are never old.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spring slides gradually into the farmer’s consciousness, but on us city people it bursts with all the relish of a sudden surprise, compensating for much of what we lose.–Mrs. William Starr Dana

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”–Robin Williams

It was a perfect spring afternoon, and the air was filled with vague, roving scents, as if the earth exhaled the sweetness of hidden flowers.–Ellen Glasgow

In spring, nature is like a thrifty housewife … taking up the white carpets and putting down the green ones.–Mary Baker Eddy

Is it so small a thing
To have enjoyed the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done.–Matthew Arnold

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