Lesser-Known Holidays Taking Place in April

Lesser-known reasons to mark your calendars



Apr 1: National Atheists Day • Yes, April 1 is April Fool’s Day—and that’s how National Atheists Day got its start. Originally, various fundamentalist Christian groups began labeling April Fool’s Day as Atheists Day as a slam against non-believers, based on this passage from the Bible (Psalm 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”). Unfortunately for them, it backfired, because atheists began accepting the slam as a badge of honor, and now use the occasion to raise awareness of atheism.

Apr 4: World Rat Day • Come on—didn’t you have a slight change of heart about rats after seeing Ratatouille? Well, pet rat owners founded this holiday to counter the prejudice against rats (admit it: you hold it!). (worldratday.com)

Apr 5: National Deep Dish Pizza Day • This day celebrates Chicago’s take on America’s other favorite pie, concocted in 1943 by Pizzeria Uno founder Ike Sewell. (Too bad it doesn’t fall on the same date as either of the next two holidays.)

Apr 6: New Beer’s Eve • A heck of a good reason to drink: the anniversary of the eve of the end of Prohibition. Legislation signed by FDR allowed the sale of beer to recommence on April 7, 1933. (Hence, April 7 is…National Beer Day.)

Apr 20: National Pot Smokers Day • Potheads apparently know that 4/20 is meaningful (way back in 1971, a group of stoner students at San Rafael High School in California gathered at 4:20 pm every day to get high, eventually adopting 420 as their code word). Thus, April 20 is a day to celebrate the conspicuous consumption of marijuana—unless, of course, you get caught, and then the celebration is, well, over.

Civil War buffs, Miles Davis devotees, and Shakespeare wannabes should prepare themselves: April is also Confederate History Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, and National Poetry Month.

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