Culture Soup

A Blend of Translation, Culture, and Technology.

Around The World In Twelve Months – April

Omni Intercommunications - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What is there to say of a month bringing together All Fools’ Day and the deadline to file your federal tax return?  Sweet and sour?  Click on any event below to learn more about it.

1 April – April Fools’ Day – Worldwide

If there is unity in the world, it may be on April Fools’ day when pranks are everywhere. While the origin of the custom is unclear, it certainly goes back as far as the 16th century. The French call the day Poisson d’Avril, or ‘April Fish.’ People tape a paper fish on to the back of their friends and wait for them to realize while everyone is making fun of them.

The bagpipes will sound this month in Scotland and abroad.

6 April – Tartan Day – Scotland and countries with Scottish diaspora

In 2008, President George Bush signed a presidential proclamation making April 6th National Tartan Day. It is a celebration of Scottish heritage on the date the Declaration of Arbroath, or declaration of Scottish independence, was signed in 1320.

6 April – Chakri Day – Thailand

Commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty, the current ruling royal house of the Kingdom of Thailand, and the founding of the capital, Bangkok, in 1782. Some people take advantage of this national holiday to run 5k and 10k races.

7 April – World Health Day – Worldwide

This year, the World Health Organization, or WHO, is focusing on diabetes - a largely preventable and treatable non-communicable disease that is rapidly increasing in numbers in many countries, most dramatically in low- and middle-income countries. Click here to learn more.

13-15 April – New Year – Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand

On the Khmer New Year in Cambodia and the Thai New Year (Songkran Festival) in Thailand on the 13th and the Lao New Year in Laos on the 14th, people will clean their homes and illuminate them with candles. There are a lot of similarities between these events, with celebrations lasting a few days. Most businesses will be closed.

15 April – Emancipation Day – Former British colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the US

The Slavery Abolition Act ended slavery in the British Empire on August 28, 1834. This year, Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday is being observed on April 15 instead of April 16, which is good news for procrastinators (see below).

18 April – Deadline for filing personal tax returns – United States

Not the 15th?! Due to the shift in Washington D.C. Emancipation Day (see above), 2016 tax day is on Monday the 18th. A few tidbits: According to the IRS, 88% of individuals now file electronically so the extended opening hours in the main post offices is quickly becoming a thing of the past. A family of 4 earning the median yearly US income of $75,000 typically pays more in payroll taxes than in federal income tax.

18 April – Patriots’ Day – Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin

An official holiday in these 3 states, it commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. The biggest celebration is the Boston Marathon which has been run since 1897! Note that as a result, the IRS extends the filing deadline by one more day (19th) in Maine and Massachusetts.

19 April – Independence Day – Venezuela

On July 5, 1811, a congress of Venezuelan provinces made the decision to separate from the Spanish Crown in order to establish a new nation based on the premises of equality of individuals, abolition of censorship, and dedication to freedom of expression. They may be due for a renewal.

22 April – Earth Day – Worldwide

Now celebrated in more than 192 countries, Earth Day aims at supporting environmental protection. This year, the theme will be Trees for the Earth. Did you know that one acre of mature trees absorb in one year the amount of CO2 produced by the average car driven 26,000 miles?

22 April – First day of Passover – Jews Worldwide

The Jewish people celebrate Passover, or Pesach, as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. In Israel, Passover is a seven-day holiday, with the first and last days observed as legal holidays.

23 April – 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death – Historical

Coincidently enough in view of the current situation in Europe, the only Shakespeare’s manuscript still in existence today is a speech that imagines Sir Thomas More, an English lawyer, social philosopher, Renaissance humanist, and councilor to Henry VIII, addressing the rage of an anti-migrant crowd in England around 1603. A tough and everlasting issue.

28 April – Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work – United Sates

This year, even the White House got involved. Listen to President Obama encouraging all employers to participate in the event. Question: When is the Take-The-Trash-Out day and the Take-The-Dog-For-A-Walk day?

29 April – Orthodox Good Friday – Greece and Orthodox Worldwide

Although both Catholics and Orthodox celebrate Easter, and by extension, Good Friday, they do it on a different date. Two factors cause this conflict: The issue of the calendar (Julian vs. Gregorian) and the adherence by the Orthodox to the early practices of the Christian Church. It’s a public holiday in Greece.


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