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10 “Holidays” to Celebrate in April

Most of us don’t especially enjoy being pranked, tricked, or otherwise made to look like a fool, but April 1 arrives all the same. If you're dreading the shenanigans inherent in that most dreaded of holidays, it would behoove you to peruse the calendar for all the other days to celebrate this month. Here are 10 of them.

April 2: International Children’s Book Day

Shelves of different colored books
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Reading is never more magical than when you’re a kid. We all remember the book (or books) that first made us fall in love with storytelling, and there’s no finer occasion than International Children’s Book Day to revisit those old favorites — or discover a new one. Founded by the International Board on Books for Young People in 1967, ICBD falls on April 2 to mark the birthday of fairy-tale luminary Hans Christian Andersen, who remains best known for the likes of “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Emperor's New Clothes” — all of which would be fine choices on this most magical of days.

April 3: Film Score Day

A large filming camera resting on a wooden stool
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From Chariots of Fire and Star Wars to Halloween and Sicario, film scores have the power to instantly transport us to a cinematic world. With that in mind, use today as an opportunity to give composers such as Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival, The Theory of Everything) and Mica Levi (Under the Skin, Jackie) their day in the sun — it’s so rare that they receive as much credit as their colleagues in front of the camera. Founded by Jeffrey D. Kern of Movie Scores and More Radio, National Film Score Day takes place on April 3 to coincide with the original theatrical release of 1942’s live-action The Jungle Book, which became the first non-musical film to have its soundtrack released as a standalone album.

April 5: First Contact Day

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While it may seem premature to celebrate something that’s yet to happen, hope springs eternal on First Contact Day. Anyone who’s seen the 1997 sci-fi film Contact knows how thrilling the prospect of finding intelligent life out there among the stars is; so does anyone following the journey of NASA’s Perseverance, which successfully landed on Mars in February 2021. April 5 was chosen by attentive Star Trek fans who noted it as the day that humans first garner the attention of extraterrestrials (namely Vulcans) in the year 2063, giving us a little more than 40 years to make that dream a reality.

April 9: Unicorn Day

A unicorn pinata
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Just because unicorns don’t actually exist in the strictest sense of the word doesn’t mean we shouldn’t honor them. Not unlike dragons — in that they’re so firmly ingrained in the popular imagination as to almost seem real — unicorns have been depicted and described by mere mortals for thousands of years and can still be found on many countries’ heraldic symbols. (They’re even the national animal of Scotland.) Celebrate these noble beasts, which are made no less special by the fact that they’re fictional, by engaging in flights of fancy and rewatching a movie such as The Last Unicorn.

April 12: For Twelves Day

A journal with "April" written on the page
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Lots of numbers hold special significance in the minds of the superstitious and winsome — seven is as lucky as it is religiously significant, while 13 is unlucky — but 12 usually isn’t one of them. For Twelves Day seeks to change that. After all, it's the number of months in a year, hours on a clock, and eggs in a carton. (It even has its own fancy name, a dozen.) In sports, it's also the number symbolically given to football and soccer fans, who represent a team's 12th player on the field. Mark the occasion by wearing the jersey of your favorite athlete who wears No. 12, of which there are many: Tom Brady, John Stockton, and Joe Namath, just to name a few.

April 15: Titanic Remembrance Day

Titanic Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
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More than a century after its ill-fated maiden voyage, RMS Titanic looms as large as ever in the collective imagination. While part of that is due to a certain Best Picture winner that held the title of highest-grossing movie of all time for more than a decade, there’s no denying the tragic allure of this story. Even beyond the bitter irony of a so-called unsinkable ship hitting an iceberg on its first trip, its legacy is enhanced by other curiosities like an 1898 novella about a British ocean liner named Titan that also sinks in the North Atlantic following a collision with an iceberg. Since box-office receipts suggest you’ve already seen Titanic, use today as an excuse to watch another great (and more historically accurate) film about it: 1958’s A Night to Remember.

April 17: Haiku Day

A black typewriter on a wooden table
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Consider writing
a haiku to celebrate
this cool holiday.

April 17: International Bat Appreciation Day

A bat hanging upside down
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Unicorns may not be real, but bats are — and they tend to get a bad rap. Take today to help change that. Whether it’s the adorable Statler, a 33-year-old who “flies” with the help of his handlers at Bat World Sanctuary, or Bruce Wayne’s masked alter ego, there’s no shortage of individual nocturnal flying mammals to toast on International Bat Appreciation Day — though there are fewer than there used to be, alas, as many species are in severe decline. When you’re not watching surprisingly cute videos or planning your next trip to Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge, take some time to learn more about our insect-eating friends.

April 23: Talk Like Shakespeare Day

A book open to a picture of Shakespeare
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An entire day devot'd to speaking like the Bard? Imagine yond. F'r while we all readeth Shakespeare in school and knoweth all about the likes of Romeo, Caliban, and Iago, few of us has't ev'r endeavor'd to mimic his fusty manner of speech in daily life. The present day tenders a rare occasion to doth just yond with dram moo to fear than the odd behold from thy cater-cousins, so has't at t.

April 30: Bugs Bunny Day

A close up of a bunny
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What’s up, doc? Bugs Bunny didn't officially appear in a Warner Bros. cartoon until 1940's A Wild Hare, but a leporine creature resembling the jokester debuted on April 30, 1938, in Porky's Hare Hunt — hence this celebratory occasion. He’ll next be seen in the Space Jam sequel starring LeBron James, which will introduce Bugs to yet another generation. Few cartoon characters have endured quite like the carrot-chewing troublemaker, and for good reason: How can you not laugh at almost everything he does?

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