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 period 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.
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.
NATIONAL KINDERGARTEN DAY
National Kindergarten Day is observed annually on April 21st. This day honors Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) whom credit is given for starting the very first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837. Frobel was a German teacher and a student of Johann Pestalozzi. Frobel laid a foundation for modern education recognizing that children learn through play and experience.
The first kindergarten (which means garden for the children) was developed in Blankenburg, Germany in 1837 fostering Frobel’s social experience for children which would allow them to transition from home to school more easily.
The Prussian government eventually banned Frobel’s unorthodox methods. The rest of the world was more open to the idea of kindergarten, including the United States.
In 1856, the first kindergarten opened in Watertown, Wisconsin. Founded by Margarethe Schurz, this kindergarten was a German-language class, as were many in this region. Kindergarten found its way into private English speaking institutions across the country, but it wasn’t until 1873 that became part of any public school system.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Saying thank you to a kindergarten teacher in your area is a great way to celebrate National Kindergarten Day. Share your kindergarten memories using #NationalKindergartenDay on Social Media.
National Kindergarten Day honors the day Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel was born. Within our research, we were unable to identify the found of National Kindergarten Day.
NATIONAL YELLOW BAT DAY
April 21st honors National Yellow Bat Day. On this day in 1967, the 265th Army Security Agency Company (Airborne) with the 101st Airborne Division was activated at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The official insignia of the 265th is a bat with outstretched wings on a full moon rising with the motto Through the Night below. Symbolically the bat represents mystery and secrecy due to its nocturnal nature, which well describes the intelligence support provided by the Army Security Agency Battalion.
Before deploying, all the military vehicles and equipment were painted with a yellow bat symbol which was clearly visible from a distance and aided in the identification of all unit equipment.
On November 19th of the same year, they were deployed to Vietnam with the designation 265th Radio Research Company (Airborne) to provide intelligence support to the 101st Airborne Division. Arriving a few weeks ahead of the Viet Cong Tet Offensive, they soon learned of the North Vietnamese campaign, but few commanders would believe the intelligence.
January 31st on the Vietnamese calendar, Tet, is the celebration of the lunar new year and is considered a most important holiday. During the conflict between North and South Vietnam, there had been a long-standing, informal truce on this day.
General Vo Nguyen Giap, commander of the North Vietnamese, was prepared to ring in the lunar new year with a series of coordinated attacks, to break the informal truce.
Doug Bonnot, who was assigned to the 265th RRC (ABN) Operations NCOIC in the spring of 1970 and author of The Sentinel and the Shooter says,”The offensive would come as a surprise to many but personnel of the 265th RRC (ABN) were manning their sector defensive perimeter of Bien Hoa Air Base, along with the very few small units that believed their intelligence reports, some 12 hours before the Tet Offensive was launched.”
The Viet Cong never breached these positions, and the Battle Flag of D: 275th Viet Cong Battalion hangs in the Sentinel Museum today.
The Sentinel Museum is a traveling museum which is designed to provide insight into the Vietnam conflict and awareness of the contributions of the 265th Radio Research Company. The 265th’s activities were highly classified, and the sacrifices of these honorable men cloaked in secrecy until decades after the end of the war. Even today the general public is unaware of these men who worked in the shadows providing silent and ceaseless support to the infantry soldier during the Vietnam War. The Yellow Bat is a symbol of their secrecy and their service, through the night.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Take some time to learn more about the Vietnam War and those who served. Use #NationalYellowBatDay to share on social media.
National Yellow Bat Day was submitted by Doug Bonnot, President of the Sentinel Chapter of the 101st Airborne Association. He and the chapter members are all 265th RRC (ABN) personnel. The Registrar at National Day Calendar approved the day in 2016. For more information on National Yellow Bat Day or the Sentinel Chapter of the 101st Airborne Association, please write to Sentinel Chapter, PO Box 205, Telford, TN 37690.
NATIONAL CHOCOLATE COVERED CASHEWS DAY
National Chocolate Covered Cashews Day is observed each year on April 21st. The cashew is a tree from the family Anacardiaceae. Its English name comes from Portuguese the fruit of the cashew tree “caju.” Originally native to Northeastern Brazil, cashew trees are now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew fruit and nuts.
Surprisingly, the shell of the cashew nut is toxic, which is why the cashew is shelled before it is sold to consumers. The cashew nut is a very popular snack with a delicious flavor. They are a well-known favorite during the holidays but can be enjoyed anytime throughout the year.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Enjoy this delicious chocolate covered cashew recipe: Microwave Chocolate Cashew Cluster recipe. Use #NationalChocolateCoveredCashewsDay to share on social media.
We were unable to find the creator of National Chocolate Covered Cashews 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.
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