April most likely draws its name from the Latin aprilis, which is a derivative of the Latin verb aperire ('to open') - this is perhaps a reference to the opening of flower buds in the Northern Hemisphere season of Spring. It is the first of four months with 30 days. April's birthstone is the diamond and its traditional flowers are the daisy and the sweet pea. April always begins on the same day of the week as April in leap years, and on the same day as July every year. In the Southern Hemisphere, April is the second month of autumn.
The old Pagan custom of "carrying death away" is carried out in some regions of Germany on this day. In celebration of the end of Winter, special straw dolls are burned in sacred bonfires or "drowned" in sacred wells.
The goddess Persephone's yearly return from the Underworld, which allowed the Earth to bloom again, was celebrated annually on this date in ancient Rome.
According to Celtic lore, the Sun dances each year on this day. In many parts of Ireland, people get up at the first light of dawn to watch the Sun "dance" in a bowl of water.
Every year on this day, the god Apollo was worshipped by his cult in ancient Greece. An annual festival called the Hiketeria was held in his honour.
On this date in 1946, Pagan author Margot Adler was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Earth Day. This day is dedicated to Mother Earth and is a time for Witches everywhere to perform Gaia-healing rituals. The first Earth Day took place in 1970 as a result of the Ecology Movement of that time.
Pagan Tree Day. On this day, plant a tree dedicated to your favourite goddess or god. For example: plant a myrtle tree in honour of Venus and Aphrodite; and oak for Demeter, Diana, and Hera; a pine for Attis, Cybele, and Pan; a rowan tree for all Moon goddesses; a sycamore for all Egyptian gods and goddesses; a willow for Artemis, Brigid, and Persephone; a yew for Hecate and Saturn; and so on and so forth (I know, fellow Southern Hemispherites, April isn't the best time to be planting things - but this is yet another Northern Hemisphere event).
In Germany, Walpurgisnacht begins at sunrise today and ends at sunrise on the first day of May (May Day). Birch boughs are placed on all doors and windows to protect the home from evil spirits. Traditional bonfires and torches of rosemary and juniper are lit, and according to legend, Witches can be seen riding across the sky on broomsticks at night.
On this date in 1988, Alexander Sanders (English Witch and founder of the Alexandrian tradition) died of lung cancer.
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