April is the fourth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and one of four months with a length of 30 days.
April is commonly associated with the season of spring in the Northern hemisphere and autumn in the Southern hemisphere, where it is the seasonal equivalent to October in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa.
April starts on the same day of the week as July in all years, and January in leap years. April ends on the same day of the week as December every year.
April was originally the second month of the Roman calendar, before January and February were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC. It became the fourth month of the calendar year (the year when twelve months are displayed in order) during the time of the decemvirs about 450 BC, when it also was given 29 days. The derivation of the name (Latin Aprilis) is uncertain. The traditional etymology is from the Latin aperire, “to open,” in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to “open,” which is supported by comparison with the modern Greek use of ἁνοιξις (anoixis) (opening) for spring. Since some of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities, and as April was sacred to the goddess Venus, the Festum Veneris et Fortunae Virilis being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her equivalent Greek goddess name Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name Apru. Jacob Grimm suggests the name of a hypothetical god or hero, Aper or Aprus.
The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath. The Venerable Bede says in The Reckoning of Time that this month Eostur is the root of the word Easter. He further states that the month was named after a goddess Eostre whose feast was in that month. St George’s day is the twenty-third of the month; and St Mark’s Eve, with its superstition that the ghosts of those who are doomed to die within the year will be seen to pass into the church, falls on the twenty-fourth. In China the symbolic ploughing of the earth by the emperor and princes of the blood took place in their third month, which frequently corresponds to our April. The Finns called (and still call) this month huhtikuu, or ‘Burnwood Month’, when the wood for beat and burn clearing of farmland was felled.
The “Days of April” (journées d’avril) is a name appropriated in French history to a series of insurrections at Lyons, Paris and elsewhere, against the government of Louis Philippe in 1834, which led to violent repressive measures, and to a famous trial known as the procès d’avril.
The birthstone of April is the diamond, and the birth flower is typically listed as either the Daisy or the Sweet Pea.