named from aperire, to open, as some have thought, but from Aphrodite, goddess of beauty.
April holds Easter-time, St. George's Day, and the Eve of St. Mark's. She has not, like her sister May in Germany, been transformed to a verb and made a synonyme for joy,—Deine Seele maiet den truben Herbst,—but April was believed in early ages to have been the birth-time of the world.
According to the Venerable Bede, the point was first accurately determined at a council held at Jerusalem about A. D. 200, when, after much profound discussion, it was finally decided that the world's birthday occurred on Sunday, April 8th,—that is, at the vernal equinox and the full moon.
But April is certainly the birth-time of the season, at least, if not of the planet.
Its festivals are older than Christianity, older than the memory of man. No sad associations cling to it, as to the month of June, in which month, says William of Malmesbury, kings are wont to go to war,—Quando solent reges ad arma proceder