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APRIL 1, 2018 | EASTER | APRIL FOOLS’ DAY | NATIONAL ONE CENT DAY | NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY

EASTER

Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox. Considered Christianity’s most important holy day, it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Depending on which calendar a church follows, some will celebrate Easter earlier than others.

Leading up to Easter Sunday is an entire season of Easter observances beginning with Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of fasting and reflection which represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness for 40 days. Many know this as a time when Christians give something up for Lent.

Then during Holy Week, the Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday. It commemorates Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey just five days before He was crucified. Maundy Thursday remembers Jesus’s last supper; Good Friday is the day of the crucifixion, Holy Saturday is the time span between the crucifixion and the resurrection and Easter Sunday.

HOW TO OBSERVE

If you choose, you can participate in any number of church services.  Dye eggs with children and have an Easter egg hunt.  Local communities hold annual Easter egg hunts as well, so check your local social media, newspapers and community listings for dates and times.  Use #Easter to share on social media.

HISTORY

Before Easter, Passover was the primary holy day celebrated, and it is closely linked with Easter. Jesus’s last supper was a Passover meal. By the 2nd century, Easter (Pascha) was being celebrated alongside Passover as well as pagan spring festivals.

The tradition of an Easter Bunny comes from medieval Germany where the Osterhase or Easter Hare would lay its colorful eggs in nests prepared by children. Immigrants in the 18th-century settling in the Dutch Pennsylvania countryside brought this fable and tradition with them to the United States.

Dying eggs is a tradition that dates back thousands of years across many cultures.  Eggs have long been a symbol of rebirth, fertility and life springing forth.  Today Easter egg hunts take place across the country, and it is not unusual to see a giant Easter Bunny surrounded by children in their Sunday best getting their pictures taken.

April Fools' Day - April 1
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APRIL FOOLS’ DAY

Please note: Names have been changed to protect the identities of the victims.

On this day in 1979, a woman and four men were abducted from Grand Teton National Park.  According to witnesses, a group of a dozen hikers headed out on March 29th with enough gear and supplies to return that Sunday evening.

Allison Rockford of Boulder, Colorado said all the hikers were experienced, and they had no trouble navigating the trail to Two Ocean Lake.

“We set up camp. Roger even commented it all seemed too easy.”

Roger Moore of Denver was the first to disappear.  “We were just getting ready to eat.  He was just gone.  Everything was gone, even his walking stick,” Jeff King, also of Boulder, explained.  “There wasn’t any sign of struggle.”

The remaining 11 hikers started a search until darkness fell and then huddled around a fire, they took turns keeping watch until morning.

They watched in pairs, and they disappeared in pairs as well.  Griffin and Jennifer Rhodes of Douglas, Wyoming, took the first watch and when the next watch came, they were gone.

Jeff and Allison both took a turn and made it through their watch.  Then Bruce Hornsby (Preston, Idaho) and Tom Wolff (Monmouth, Oregon) stood watch.  They haven’t been seen since.

Before daylight returned a piercing sound filled the forest.  “It was electronic, high pitched and painful,” Allison explained.  “I can’t describe it any other way.  We all were doubled over in pain.”

“Then it suddenly stopped, and the sky was filled with light, as bright as day,” Roger continued the description of the events. “It was brighter than day. It was blinding!”

Then, according to both Allison and Roger, the only hikers who agreed to speak with us, the light was gone and within moments, forest sounds that had been mysteriously missing from the night returned.  Rustlings of nocturnal animals, an owl called and the mountain seemed back to normal.

The next morning the remaining seven made their way to the nearest ranger station.

As they made their way along the trail on the southern side of Two Ocean Lake, across the valley and nestled in a low spot, they could see an unnatural formation. It was oddly perfect; disturbingly perfect.  Burned into fresh spring growth were three perfect, identical circles arranged in a triangle.

Rangers searched the area for weeks after the disappearances, but the only sign of the missing hikers that has ever been found was Roger Moore’s walking stick.

It was found at the center of the arrangement of burned circles without a mark on it.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Prepare your best pranks and practical jokes. Use #AprilFoolsDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

We would be fools to think we knew precisely when April Fools’ Day was originally celebrated.

April Fools Day shares similarities with other days full of fools, tricks and merry making.

Some believe the day is celebrated in honor of the trickery Mother Nature plays on us this time of year with her unpredictable weather.

The Indian tradition of Holi which is celebrated on March 31st has the same foolery as April Fools’ day as does the Roman festival of Hilaria which was celebrated on March 25th.

The earliest known reference to April Fools’ day is in Chaucer’s 1392 Nun’s Priest’s Tale. Even so, the reference is so vague, and possibly not even occurring on the first of April, leaving doubt as to whether it is the first reference.

Other scholars point to the reformation of the calendar by Pope Gregory and the Gregorian calendar we used today in the 1500s in France. The new year would take place in April, not January as it does now. The theory is that those who continued to celebrate the new year on April 1 were called Poisson d’Avril (April fish) and pranks would be played on them.

In 1582, France accepted the Gregorian calendar, but reforms had already been taking place.

In Britain in 1776, there is a clear and reliable reference to April foolishness in an article in Gentlemans Magazine.  Reference to a custom in the kingdom of making fools of people on the first day of April.  It addresses the day being the culmination of an eight-day feast and the beginning of a new year.

Newspapers, television, radio and social media have had their fun on April Fools’ Day. Check out all this April 1 foolishness:

  • Times of London reported in 1992 that Belgium was negotiating to join Holland.
  • The Evening Star of Islington advertised in 1864 a display of donkeys at the Agricultural Hall the next day. Those who arrived early soon realized who the donkeys on display really were.
  • In 1950, The Progress in Clearfield Pennsylvania published a picture of a UFO flying over the town. Claiming to have “scooped” larger publications of the first ever published picture of a real flying saucer.
  • In 2008, the BBC presented a documentary on flying penguins.

National One Cent Day -April 1
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NATIONAL ONE CENT DAY

What does Benjamin Franklin, the phrase “mind your business” and April 1 all have in common? The answer is the penny, which we recognize on National One Cent Day.
The United States first issued a one-cent coin produced by a private mint in 1787.  It was designed by Benjamin Franklin.  On one side it read “Mind Your Business” and the other “We Are One.”  This coin was made of 100% copper was larger than today’s penny and came to be known as the Fugio cent.
It wasn’t until 1792 that the United States Mint was first created.  The first coins struck by the newly established mint were called Chain cents, or Flowing Hair Chain Cents by collectors today.  On one side of the was coin a circle of 13 links of chain representing the 13 colonies. On the reverse was an image of a woman with flowing hair, otherwise known as Liberty.
The one cent coin was reduced in size in the 1850s to make the coin more economical and easier to handle.  In 1856, the mint produced the Flying Eagle cent with a wreath on the reverse side.
This coin was soon replaced with the Indian Head cent in 1859 which quickly became popular and remained in circulation for decades.
Today’s one cent coin is made of copper and zinc and has borne the image of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909.  From 1959  to 2008, the reverse featured the Lincoln Memorial. Four different reverse designs in 2009 honored Lincoln’s 200th birthday depicting various scenes from his lifetime and a new, permanent reverse – the Union Shield – was introduced in 2010.

HOW TO OBSERVE

On National One Cent Day,  you can research the history of the penny and also learn about saving your cents.  Each penny saved accumulates over time. Use #NationalOneCentDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

Our research was unable to find the origin or the creator of National One Cent Day.

NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY

National Sourdough Bread Day is observed across the country on April 1.

One of the world’s oldest leavened breads, sourdough is produced through the process of long fermentation of the dough using lactobacilli and yeasts.  The use of naturally occurring yeasts and friendly bacteria versus cultivated yeast causes the bread to have a slightly sour, but pleasant taste. 

Most likely the first form of leavening available to bakers, it is believed sourdough originated in Ancient Egyptian times around 1500 BC.  It did remain the usual form of leavening into the European Middle Ages. During the California Gold Rush, sourdough was the principal bread made in Northern California and is still a part of the culture of San Francisco today.

The bread was so common at that time the word “sourdough” became a nickname for the gold prospectors. In The Yukon and Alaska, a “sourdough” is also a nickname given to someone who has spent an entire winter north of the Arctic Circle, and it refers to their tradition of protecting their sourdough during the coldest months by keeping it close to their body. The sourdough tradition was also carried into Alaska and western Canadian territories during the Klondike Gold Rush.

San Francisco sourdough is the most famous sourdough bread made in the United States today.  In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production since 1849, with some bakeries able to trace their starters back to California’s Gold Rush period. Many restaurant chains keep it as a menu staple. Sourdough bread is a great side to your soup or stew or toasted with your morning cereal.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Enjoy this delicious recipe: San Francisco Sourdough Bread recipe.

Use #SourdoughBreadDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

We were unable to find the origin or the creator of National Sourdough Bread Day.

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar™ is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months.  In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
 
Whether you want to celebrate your favorite mail carrier and flip flops, share your joy for bacon and chocolate cake or enjoy our office favorite Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn on National Popcorn Day, stay in-the-know by signing-up for our e-mail updates, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t find yourself unprepared for Talk Like a Pirate Day or Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day – join us as we #CelebrateEveryDay!

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