April 24th marks the 248th birthday of Robert B. Thomas, the founder of The Old Farmer’s Almanac! In his birthday month edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Monthly Digital Magazine, we take a look at everything the month of April has to offer, including crazy lunar activity, famous April Fools’ Day pranks, and delicious rhubarb recipes.
Five Fascinating Facts from the April Edition of the Almanac Monthly Magazine
1. April’s Full Moon is known as the Full Pink Moon because it heralded the appearance of wild ground phlox or moss pink, one of the first spring flowers. It is also known by many other names that announce the arrival of spring, including the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.
2. How the origins of April Fools’ Day are uncertain, but many agree that it may have started in 1582, when France switched to the Gregorian calendar and moved New Year’s Day from March 25 back to January 1. Prior to this change, the New Year’s celebration had begun on March 25 and ended on April 1. Those who were unaware of the change were called April fools.
3. Rhubarb is a vegetable! It acquired its reputation as a medicinal plant because it supplied nutrients to people who were winter-starved for fresh vegetables. Fresh stalks contain about one-third as much Vitamin C as an orange and a fair amount of vitamin A. It is also a good source of potassium, calcium, and iron.
4. April is national kite month, when more than 700 kite events are expected to take place around the world. Legend has it that the first kite was flown centuries ago by a Chinese farmer who tied a string to his hat to keep it from going aloft.
5. Originally, dogs (usually Dalmatians) ran in front of horse-drawn steam engines, barking loudly to alert pedestrians and vehicles so that the fire wagon could pass unhindered. With the advent of gasoline-powered fire engines, the Dalmatians weren’t needed any longer, but they became a kid-friendly symbol of the honorable profession of fire fighting.