Cinco de Mayo means “Fifth of May” in Spanish, and is a celebration of the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862. The Mexican army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, won the battle even though the French force was three times as large and better equipped. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico, and has become a popular heritage celebration in the United States.
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Arbor Day is a state holiday celebrated each year on last Friday in April. It is customary to observe the day by planting a tree. It is estimated that one million trees were planted in the United States on the first Arbor Day April 10, 1872. This year Arbor Day falls on April 28th.
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Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22nd. The brainchild of environmentally-conscious Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, Earth Day was first observed in 1970. Nelson’s intention was that Earth Day be observed through nationwide “teach-ins” on college campuses. Instead of focusing on the Vietnam War, however, theses teach-ins focused on the threats facing the environment. The 1970 event was celebrated across the country and was wildly successful. Earth Day is now celebrated in more than 175 countries throughout the world.
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Easter is a moveable feast, a holiday which does not fall on the same date every year, but varies according to astronomical occurrences and is based on the Jewish liturgical calendar. Easter is celebrated on different dates by Western and Eastern Orthodox churches, because the Eastern Orthodox churches calculate the date based on the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. In 2017, both Western churches and Eastern churches will celebrate Easter Sunday on April 16th.
Happy Easter to all!
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Jewish Year 5777: Sunset April 10 – Nightfall April 18, 2017
Passover is an eight day Jewish holiday that celebrates the delivery of the Jews from bondage in Egypt. It is observed on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan.
Passover is a moveable feast, a holiday which does not fall on the same date every year, but varies according to astronomical occurrences and is based on the Jewish liturgical calendar.
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The first of April is known as April Fool’s Day, a traditional day for practical jokes of all kinds. Some have noted connections between April Fool’s Day and the Roman celebration of Hilaria on March 25, and the Hindu holiday of Holi, ending March 31. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1894, refers to “the mockery trial of our Redeemer” as a popular explanation.
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