April 12th last year marked 50 years from the date a first human, Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen, first traveled to space.

International Day of Human Space Flight

Yuri Gagarin

To honor the first space flight, the United Nations declared this day the International Day of Human Space Flight.

The UN General Assembly  “expressed its deep conviction of the common interest of mankind in promoting and expanding the exploration and use of outer space, as the province of mankind, for peaceful purposes and in continuing efforts to extend all States the benefits derived therefrom.”

Watch footage of Gagari’s space flight from 1961 here:


Other Significant Days in April:

International Earth Day

World Health Day

Easter Sunday

International Children’s Book Day

International Day for Street Children 

Today is Easter Sunday, which for many Christian families in the Western world means a long weekend, chocolate eggs, and perhaps a nice home-made dinner.


Bunny delivering Easter eggs

For others, however, Easter is more than that. Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus three days after he was executed. It also marks the end of Lent, a forty-day fasting period. People who regularly go to church usually attend a special Easter service, which is usually more elaborate than a regular Sunday service. 

Good health adds life to years! This is the theme of World Health Day 2012.

World Health Day

Health adds life to years

World Health Day on March 7th marks the foundation date of WHO, World’s Health Organisation, in 1948. It is a United Nations observance day, sponsored by the WHO, with a purpose of highlighting the work of WHO and reminding the public of various health-related areas of concern.

This year, the priority area of concern is ageing and health. WHO explains the theme in the following way: “Over the past century life expectancy has increased dramatically and the world will soon have more older people than children…

Today’s date marks the birthday of the Danish storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen. International Board on Books for Young People, a non-profit Swiss organization trying to get more and more young people to read, has declared this date the International Children’s Book Day.

International Children's Book Day

Andersen's Little Mermaid in Copenhagen harbor

The day was first celebrated in 1967, and it annually includes writing competitions, book awards, and various events bringing authors and young readers together.

This month a handful of countries is celebrating their independence:

Independence Days

Senegal celebrating its independence

Georgia, April 9 – Independence from USSR

Senegal, April 4 – Independence from France

Sierra Leone, April 27 – Independence from UK

Syria, April 17 – Independence from France (also known as the Evacuation Day, for it was on April 17th when the last French soldier was evacuated from Syria)

Togo, April 27 – Independence from UK

Zimbabwe,  April 18 – Independence from UK

Happy Independence to you all!