Q: How did April Fool’s Day begin?
A: April Fool’s Day began in France around the year 1564. April 1 used to be New Year's Day, but was changed to January 1 that year. The people who insisted on celebrating the "old" New Year became known as "April Fools" and it became common to play jokes and tricks on them. However, the general concept of a Feast of Fools dates back to ancient times. The Romans celebrated such a day, and medieval monasteries had days when the abbot or bishop was replaced for a day by a common monk who would order his superiors to do the most menial tasks.
Source: Chase's Calendar of events, 2011 and Folklore of American Holidays, 1st Edition.
Q: Where did the Easter Bunny come from?
A: The Easter Bunny came to America with the 18th Century German Settlers. In Germany, he was referred to as "Oschter Haws", and he accompanied the German Goddess, Ostara, for whom the German Spring Festival "Ostern" was named. In Germany, the Easter Bunny lays Red eggs on Maundy Thursday and eggs of other colors on Easter Eve. Some people compare the emergence of the Easter Bunny from his hole to Christ rising from his tomb on Easter Morning.
Source: Holiday Symbols and Customs, 4th Edition.
Q: When was Arbor Day started?
A: Arbor Day, celebrated by planting a tree, was started in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The Day is generally celebrated on the last Friday of April, which is considered a good day to plant a tree all over the country. Celebration of Arbor Day is often combined with Earth Day earlier in the month. J. Sterling Morton's son was the founder of the Morton Salt Company.
Source: Chase's Calendar of Events, 2011.
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