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April showers are going to bring more than just May flowers. On April 3, we get to celebrate National Find a Rainbow Day. Rainbows have always felt somewhat magical to us. And who can blame us? Rainbows are beautiful and a little mysterious.
On this colorful holiday we can really find time to explore and relish in one of nature’s greatest beauties.
History of National Find a Rainbow Day
Rainbows are caused by the reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water, resulting in a visual spectrum of light appearing in the sky, taking the form of a multicolored arc. They always appear on the side of the sky directly opposite to the sun.
Don’t go chasing rainbows, because they’re not necessarily located at a specific distance from where you observe them. They’re an optical illusion viewed from a certain angle to a relative light source, meaning the closer you try to get, the further away it goes. Even if you see someone who appears to be standing right beneath the rainbow, they’ll see a different rainbow further off into the distance. In the words of Kermit the Frog, “Rainbows are visions, they’re only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.”
In 1979, Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher wrote the iconic “Rainbow Connection” performed by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) in The Muppet Movie, creating many young children’s and adults’ new favorite song. Henson told them that the opening scene should feature Kermit sitting by himself, playing a banjo and singing. Williams and Ascher wrote the majority of the song fairly quick, but got stuck on the chorus. While explaining to Williams’ then-wife, Kate, over dinner their predicament, they said they needed a phrase that would “provide a rainbow connection.” However, while explaining it, they realized that “rainbow connection” was the exact phrase they needed. Basically, rainbows are more than science — they’re pretty magical too. That’s the rainbow connection.
National Find a Rainbow Day timeline
A German Monk named Theodoric discovers the actual scientific reasons on how rainbows form.
Isaac Newton discovers that a ray of light is divided by a prism into two colors, the rainbow color spectrum and then white light.
Thomas Young explains that when light refracts to form a rainbow it refracts in two different rays, light and dark.
Gilbert Baker from San Francisco creates the first rainbow flag. The original flag had nine colors for all inclusivity but was later removed to make it easier to produce.
National Find a Rainbow Day FAQs
What Are Rainbows Made Out Of?
When water droplets in the air come in contact with the light from the sun, the reflection of light is refracted in the water droplet and shows the color spectrum we know as the rainbow.
How Do You Find a Rainbow?
It doesn’t matter what area you’re in as long as there is sunlight and a slight mist in the air you should be able to see a rainbow. Face the horizon with your back to the sun and you should be able to find it.
Are Rainbows Symbolic?
Rainbows have been used in mythology, in the bible, and more mystical tales. Some people and religions believe that rainbows are lucky. Rainbows are for sure gorgeous and we wouldn’t be surprised if they were a symbol of something greater.
National Find a Rainbow Day Activities
Try Finding a Rainbow
A slightly humid but sunny day is the perfect day to find a rainbow. Try standing with your back to the sun and looking to the horizon and hopefully you'll get to see a majestic rainbow!
Make Your Own Rainbow
Maybe the day is too sunny and you just can’t seem to find a rainbow. Don't worry you can make your own! A light mist from the water hose at a certain angle that catches the sun can create its own rainbow. You can also try making tie dye shirts or rainbow colored cupcakes, just to sprinkle some color into your day.
Celebrate LGBTQ+ Events
Rainbows are a source of pride and expression for the LGBTQ+ community and if you can’t find a rainbow in the wild, then celebrate your pride or be an ally.
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Rainbows
Double Rainbows Are Real
Technically all rainbows are double rainbows, we just can’t see the second arch because it is more faint. If there's more water we’ll see the second arch creating the double rainbow effect.
Rainbows Are Actually Circular
Full circle rainbows can only be seen from the air. The ground interferes and gives it a more arc shape.
There is a Goddess of Rainbows
The Ancient Greeks actually had a goddess dedicated to rainbows named Iris. Her Ancient Roman name is Arcus.
The Refraction is Exactly 42 Degrees
When light bends the water droplets in the air at exactly 42 degrees we get to see a rainbow.
Hawaii Has the Most Rainbows
There's a reason they have rainbows on their license plates, due to their tropical weather, Hawaii gets to see more rainbows than anywhere else in the world.
Why We Love National Find a Rainbow Day
Gets Us More In Touch With Nature
This holiday gives us a reason to go outside more, we get to explore everything nature has to offer including beautiful rainbows.
Makes the Day More Whimsical
Rainbows are always awe inspiring and fantastical, going to look for them gives the day a lighter tone and lets our imagination run wild.
Makes Our Day More Colorful
Sometimes the days can be drab and drag on, this holiday gives us the perfect opportunity to make rainbow colored treats or dress like a rainbow. If you can’t find a rainbow be the rainbow!
National Find a Rainbow Day dates