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Featured April holidays offer ways to stay healthy, spend time with others

April 2: International Pillow Fight Day
April 2: International Pillow Fight Day

Although pillow fights are commonplace at children’s sleepovers and parties, they happen less frequently as you get older. Luckily, you can still embrace your pillow fighting spirit on April 2: International Pillow Fight Day.

International Pillow Fight Day is held on the first Saturday of April each year. In cities like New York, Amsterdam and London, local governments and organizations partner up to use big open spaces to arrange large-scale pillow fights.

Unfortunately, most celebrations have been canceled for the past two years due to COVID-19. This year, celebrations will occur with social distancing rules and limits on the number of participants. For most events, masks are required and the pillow fights must occur outdoors.

Since its founding in March 2008, International Pillow Fight Day has come to symbolize more than just a day to have fun with friends. Some organizers have taken a stance against animal cruelty by advocating for a ban on animal feather stuffed-pillows and urging people to opt for more animal-friendly options like Poly-Fill or memory foam.

While pillow fights have evolved from their first run, the overall point is the same. With a simple pillow fight, you too can revert back to your childish self and enjoy a few worry-free hours of fun.

April 3: National Find a Rainbow Day
April 3: National Find a Rainbow Day

Now that spring has officially begun, gloomy mornings and sunny afternoons have started up again. The combination of sun after rain can create a rainbow. This colorful phenomenon has a whole day dedicated to it. Mark your calendars, because April 3 is National Find a Rainbow Day.

Rainbows occur when sunlight hits a rain droplet. As the sun enters the droplets, light refracts. Then, light is reflected off of the inside of the droplet, creating an electromagnetic spectrum with different wavelengths that each produce different colors.

Finding a rainbow can be difficult. When you see a rainbow, you’re just seeing the light at a certain angle, so if you try to get closer, the rainbow will still appear to be far away.

Instead, you can celebrate this national holiday by making a homemade rain-bow. One method is to fill a glass cup with water and set it down in front of a win-dow. Then, angle the glass against a solid backdrop to find a rainbow. This only works if it’s sunny, but if it isn’t, no worries-there are other ways to celebrate. If it’s raining or cloudy outside, bake some cupcakes and decorate them with rainbows. Draw a rainbow with frosting or decorate it with rainbow sprinkles before sharing the cupcakes with your friends and family to enjoy the holiday.

April 6: National Walking Day
April 6: National Walking Day

Walking is an overlooked aspect of daily life. After all, other transportation methods like biking or driving seem to get you places faster and with less effort. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018, nearly 80% of Americans don’t get enough exercise, leading to severe health consequences. With this in mind, celebrating National Walking Day is an easy and effective remedy to this problem.

National Walking Day was founded in 2007 by the National Heart Association to promote healthier lifestyles. It is celebrated on the first Wednesday of April-April 6 this year-and highlights the importance of regular physical activity.

Participating is simple: all you need to do is commit to taking a 30-minute walk during the day. According to the American Heart Association, walking can help maintain a healthy body weight, lower the risk of heart disease and allow for better sleep.

Since its founding, institutions like Emory University have incorporated National Walking Day as an important part of their year by holding organized walks. Although the Bay Area doesn’t hold any annual events, National Walking Day is a day that everyone can celebrate. Along with its health benefits, walking provides an opportunity for you to take a break and enjoy some fresh air.

April 13: National Make Lunch Count Day
April 13: National Make Lunch Count Day

Lunch is often the neglected middle child of our daily meals. During school, many people just skip it entirely, and others just refuse to put the bland school lunch into their mouths. That’s why National Make Lunch Count Day, celebrated on April 13, is a perfect excuse to bring attention to this overlooked meal.

Of course, for such a big holiday, you have to prepare. Stop by your nearby Target and take a stroll down the party aisle. If the stores don’t have decorations for the holiday, use this as an opportunity to get creative. It’s time to bust out the marker set you stole from your second grade classroom and get decorating.

How does one go about celebrating a day dedicated to lunch? For starters, the lunch line had better give gourmet meals-filet mignon, french onion soup and cr猫me br没l茅e-at the very least. If you usually pack lunch, tell your parents to cook up your favorite dishes and have them delivered piping hot at 12:20 p.m.

National Make Lunch Count Day is also a day to take advantage of the lunchtime you have. Maybe you could catch up with some old friends or make up with your middle school nemesis. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, make sure you do it with family and friends. A day like this is meant to be shared with your loved ones. What are you waiting for? Start prepping and mark your calendar for April 13.

April 15: National Anime Day
April 15: National Anime Day

As Asian culture spreads worldwide, anime鈥揳 style of animation that reflects Japanese art and culture鈥揾as been increasing in popularity in many western countries. Occurring on April 15, National Anime Day is a day to dress up and discuss your favorite animes with your friends.

Anime first appeared in 1917 as an art form. It began to gain traction in the 1960s with the establishment of “Mushi Productions,” which was founded by Osamu Tezuka, a prominent figure in Japanese comics. Eventually, anime became popular among the Japanese people as a form of entertainment, usually delivered through television.

A great way to celebrate National Anime Day is to watch one. For those that prefer to watch shows based on daily life, “Nichijou” and “Lucky Star” are good options. Both feature a cast of characters who are relatable to most audiences. For action lovers, animes like “Full Metal Alchemist” and “Demon Slayer” make excellent starting shows. There are also movies like “Weathering with You” and “Your Name,” both of which deliver a great story are in under two hours.

Regardless of the show, watching anime is a fun way to spend your time. If one isn’t right for you, there is a whole sea of anime just waiting to be discovered. Be sure pick up a series in time for National Anime Day.

April 25: World Penguin Day
April 25: World Penguin Day

Penguins are undeniably popular with their appearances in popular culture, from blockbuster movies like “Penguins of Madagascar” to video games like “Club Penguin” and even supervillians like “The Penguin” in comic books. On April 25, World Penguin Day celebrates penguins and their unique traits and history.

Established in 1972 by Gerry Wallace, World Penguin Day was founded when a group of researchers first noticed that the Ad茅lie penguins’ annual northward migration always started on April 25. Since then, April 25 has become a day to celebrate not just the Ad茅lie, but all penguins alike.

Despite their popularity, many people are unaware that the penguin population is steadily declining. Of the 17 different penguin species, 11 are threatened with extinction. Since penguins naturally thrive in colder climates in areas like Antarctica, penguins are at risk with disturbances caused by global warming. Oil pollution, habitat degradation and human disturbance have also contributed to the species’ decreasing numbers.

To show support on World Penguin Day, donate to foundations focused on penguin conservation, such as the World Wildlife Fund and Global Penguin So-ciety. You can also say hello to penguins at various zoos and aquariums while wearing tuxedos on the day of celebration.

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