The Friday before Easter commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Christian Faith and is called Good Friday.
Christians around the world recall the biblical story of Jesus’s crucifixion on this day. The day goes by other names as well, such as Holy Friday, Black Friday, and Great Friday. The phrase “Good Friday” may have been derived from “God’s Friday, “though sources conflict.
The observance is central to the Christian holy season that leads up to Easter when Jesus Christ was resurrected. While Easter has become a traditional celebration in the secular world, Good Friday has remained a holy and spiritual observance.
HOW TO OBSERVE #GoodFriday
Churches across the country hold services. Depending on the denomination, their services and traditions may vary. For example, churches will fast, select specific hymns for services, and drape black fabric over the lectern and cross. Many spend the day in meditative reflection. Some churches will fast, selected hymns are chosen for services and black cloth is draped over the altar and cross. Other churches will include specific prayers such as the Stations of the Cross. Similar to making Easter bread, some make hot cross buns for the observance. Learn more about the biblical story of the crucifixion.
Hot Cross Buns recipe
Use #GoodFriday to share on social media.
GOOD FRIDAY HISTORY
The celebration of Good Friday has been observed for centuries, some say since at least the 4th century.
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY
World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), on April 2nd each year shines a bright light on a growing global health crisis.
According to the National Autism Association, Autism affects 1 in 59 children. The bio-neurological developmental disability usually presents itself by the age of three, and it’s more prevalent in boys than girls.
As children with autism grow older, they face all sorts of obstacles. Because many don’t speak or use social cues as you or I do, they become targets for bullies or are excluded altogether. Children with autism are also vulnerable to drowning because they wander from their homes and schools. Due to their inability to communicate, they cannot tell someone their name or where they live, either. Additionally, as adults, they are more likely to unemployed or underemployed.
However, resources are available for families and schools to help keep children safe and to support them lead happy and healthy lives. Visit the National Autism Association website for resources, guides and tips for families and schools.
The day also focuses on the growing need for programs designed to support those with autism now and in the future.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldAutismAwarenessDay or #WAAD
Throughout the day, organizations hold events supporting autism awareness. Attend an event and show your support for someone you know. Share your story and make your voice heard.
While the day also celebrates the stories and lives of those with autism, it’s also important to remember that autism is a life long condition with varying degrees of severity. It’s important to continue to support research for treatment and therapies that will improve the lives of those with autism. Speak out about autism to help eliminate the stigma associated with it. And use #WorldAutismDay to share on social media.
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness day in 2008 to draw attention to the growing need for innovative programs designed to support those with autism.
NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY DAY
On April 2nd each year, National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day celebrates a classic food favorite. The average American will have eaten over 2000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school.
Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”
It is thought that Julia Davis Chandler issued the first reference to peanut butter (or paste) paired with jelly on bread in the United States in 1901. Her article is found in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became very popular with children.
According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers’ military ration list.
In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product that combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PeanutButterAndJellyDay
It may be a good day to try something different. The following are a few peanut butter and jelly ideas to help you out!
- French Toast
We’ve also created a hidden picture puzzle. Find the hidden peanuts in the picture. We’ve included the key if you think you’ve found them all. Also, we turned the image into a coloring page. Download and print it off. Have fun! Use #PeanutButterAndJellyDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this nutty and sweet holiday.
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION DAY
National Reconciliation Day on April 2nd each year urges us to repair relationships we have damaged through words or actions. While many different “Days of Reconciliation” are held worldwide, this specific observance takes place on April 2nd.
We all know of a relationship where a misunderstanding caused friction. Eventually, or suddenly the relationship was destroyed. Time passes, and before long, years pass, and not two words have been spoken between the two people. They may be siblings or parent and child. Childhood friendships dissolve in an instant over angry words. Friends often immediately regret the cause of the quarrel but don’t know how to start over.
Over time, feelings of resentment, bitterness, and anger cause more than the loss of friendship. These feelings add to health problems and also infect other relationships in our lives.
The act of reconciliation requires some giving to achieve a peaceful balance. Someone must make the first move to break down the barriers that have been built. And while forgiveness may be a part of the conversation, it isn’t necessarily a requirement.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalReconciliationDay
This day aims to patch up relationships. Misunderstandings, unintended words or actions, and simply an unforgiven mistake can tear apart relationships. The day encourages us to take that step and make amends. It’s not too late. Reach out to that friend or loved one and make a fresh start. Use #ReconciliationDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION DAY HISTORY
Our research has found several references to Reconciliation Day throughout the year. However, many give credit to newspaper columnist Ann Landers, who in 1989, in response to one of her reader’s letters, began annually promoting April 2nd as Reconciliation Day. She encouraged her readers to repair their broken relationships and dedicated each April 2nd column to letters concerning just such relationships.
NATIONAL FERRET DAY
On April 2nd, Hob and Jill went up the hill with their little Kits to celebrate National Ferret Day because that’s some serious business. Male ferrets are called Hobs, and female ferrets are called Jills. Their offspring are called Kits. The whole family is called a business. These carnivores join the mustelid family, including the otter, badger, weasel, marten, mink, and wolverine.
Humans domesticated these crafty hunters over 2,000 years ago, specifically for their hunting abilities. Landowners used them to “ferret” out and kill vermin that would otherwise grow out of control. Their cunning and wile made ferrets a valuable tool for many. There’s no questioning whether a ferret is a carnivore once you examine their razor-sharp teeth.
In North America, the black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered North American mammals. Once thought to be completely decimated, a rancher discovered a small population on his ranch in Wyoming in 1981. Since then, conservationists, breeding programs, and landowners’ efforts are bringing the population back from the brink of extinction. Today the population wavers around 500 ferrets alive in the wild, with more breeding programs preparing to reintroduce more ferrets into the wild.
People also domesticated some breeds of these wildly curious creatures as pets. While their skill in the wild may be considered masterful, as a pet, they are a mischievous handful if not properly trained. Since they are highly intelligent, they learn to do an assortment of tricks and use a litter box. As social animals, they do require attention and preferably a ferret companion. Take note – ferrets have scent glands and produce a musky, often offensive odor.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFerretDay
Learn more about the conservation of the black-footed ferret and its rediscovery. Watch the movie Ferret Town to learn more.
Have you invited a ferret to share your home? Share your experiences with your ferret companion. Celebrate by learning more about ferrets and how they live and grow. Families and classrooms, download and print this ferret coloring sheet.
Use #NationalFerretDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL FERRET DAY HISTORY
For decades, ferret lovers celebrated National Ferret Day. However, recognition didn’t come until 2014 when Carol Roche of New York and the American Ferret Association made it possible. At that time, Chase’s Calendar of Events formally recognized the observance.
On Deck for April 3, 2021
- National Chocolate Mousse Day
- National Film Score Day
- National Find a Rainbow Day
- National Tweed Day
- World Party Day
- National Love Our Children Day – First Saturday In April
- National Handmade Day – First Saturday in April
- International Pillow Fight Day – First Saturday in April
April 2nd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
RMS Titanic with a skeleton crew on board begins sea trials to determine her seaworthiness.
The science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey premiers in Washington, D.C. Stanley Kubrick directs the movie he co-wrote with fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. A journey to Jupiter brings astronaut Dr. Dave Bowman and a malfunctioning HAL (Heuristically programmed Algorithmic computer) together in a race for evolutionary advancement. The film received four Oscar nominations, winning Best Effects, Special Visual Effects.
The NCAA changes the game of men’s college basketball with the adoption of the three-point shot. A game-changer that had already been adopted by professional leagues decades earlier, the three-point goal is a strategy that is commonplace today.
Rita Johnston succeeds William Vander Zalm as Premier of British Columbia becoming the first woman to serve a Canadian province in this capacity.
Recipe of the Day
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total Prep: 55 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
2 slices deli ham
2 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 350°.
Using a meat tenderizer, flatten chicken breast to 1/4 inch.
Top a slice of ham and cheese on each.
Roll up the chicken halves and tuck the ends, securing with toothpicks.
Melt the butter in a shallow bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix bread crumbs, salt, and paprika.
Dip the chicken in the butter and then roll in the crumb mixture.
Place chicken in a greased 8-inch baking dish.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.
April 2nd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Hans Christian Andersen – 1805
The most famous and prolific writer of fairytales in history, Andersen first published in 1829 and brought to us written versions of the “Princess and the Pea,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Mermaid,” and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and unmistakably written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.
Walter Chrysler – 1875
Before launching his own company, Walter Chrysler’s automotive career began at Buick and Maxwell Motor Company. On June 6, 1925, Walter Chrysler established the Chrysler Corporation, bought out Maxwell, and started two new brands – Plymouth and DeSoto.
Buddy Ebsen – 1908
Probably best known for his roles as Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies and the title character in Barnaby Jones, Ebsen began his career on stage. In 1938, Victor Fleming cast Ebsen as the Scarecrow in the MGM musical The Wizard of Oz. However, due to a casting change, Ebsen’s new role became the Tin Man. Unfortunately, the aluminum dust in the Tin Man makeup caused an allergic reaction making it impossible for Ebsen to return to the set. Jack Haley replaced Ebsen in the role as Tin Man.
Charles White – 1918
Born in Chicago, Charles White was introduced to the world of art at a young age. The Art Institute of Chicago recognized his talent in the seventh grade when he earned a grant. White left a legacy of work illustrating Black America through several generations. While working in several mediums, his most noted piece is a mural at Hampton University called “The Contribution of the Negro to American Democracy.”
Ruth Heller – 1924
The Canadian author and graphic artist is best known for her colorful children’s educational books including Up, UP and Away: A Book About Adverbs, and Fantastic! Wow! and Unreal! a Book About Interjections and Conjunctions.
Paul Avery – 1934
Paul Avery provided his journalistic skills to aid detectives in the search for the infamous Zodiac killer. From the office of the San Francisco Chronicle, Avery would also become a target, and his sleuthing never revealed the identity of the serial killer.
Marvin Gaye – 1939
Marvin Gaye’s silky baritone voice earned him the nickname “Prince of Motown” in the 1960s and 1970s. Hits like “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” and “What’s Going On” transcended genres and audiences.
Emmylou Harris – 1947
The award-winning folk and country artist joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1992. At the time, some of her hits included “Together Again,” “Two More Bottles of Wine,” and “If I Need You.”
Rodney King – 1965
Following a high-speed chase in 1991, four L.A.P.D. officers pulled Rodney King from his car and brutally beat him. The incident is recorded by George Holliday. When the four officers are acquitted nearly a year later, six days of riots follow.
John Edward Brown – 1879
Irene Mayer Selznick – 1907
Jesse Plemons – 1988
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.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.