Love and spring are in the air! Yes, March is here! You already feel a lot more energy than in the winter months and what’s more important you’re filled with verve. Yes, verve would be the perfect world for March!
March is the 3rd month of the year and the 2nd with a length of 31 days! On the 20th or 21st, the March equinox indicates the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Let’s learn a bit more about this month, remarkable for its verve and picturesque quality, through these fun facts about March…
The history behind the name
1. The God of war
March was called after the Roman god of war, Mars. Traditionally, this was the time of year to continue military campaigns that had been interfered with by winter. With the winter frosts melting in the Northern hemisphere and the ground becoming fertile for harvest again, March was in fact the perfect month for both farmers to resume farming, and warriors to restart warring.
2. The Pentagon still seems to agree with this Roman tradition
Interestingly, with the exclusion of the recent war in Afghanistan, almost all major U.S.-NATO led military operations since the invasion of Vietnam have begun in March. Here are just a few that follow the trend, Vietnam initiated on the 8th of March 1965, Iraq on the 20th of March, 2003, and Libya on the 19th of March, 2011.
3. Why wasn’t March named after a number?
If so many months were named after their Latin numbers, why wasn’t March? Probably, because that would sound a bit ridiculous, and because the Gods had dibs on it! March was named after the Latin Martius — aka Mars, the Roman God of war and a mythical ancestor of the Roman people.
Is it the 3rd of the 1st month of the year?
4. Happy New Year ancient Romans!
March or Martius in the early Roman calendar was the first month of the year. One year was ten months long, beginning in March and ending in December, according to the oldest Roman calendars. March became the 3rd month when January and February were added to the Roman calendar.
The beginning of spring
5. The March equinox
This year the March equinox will happen on Saturday, the 20th of March, 2021. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox and marks the start of the spring season, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it represents the beginning of autumn. The Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north at this time. Also on this day, the Sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west — a useful fact if you ever get lost in the woods!
Two interpretations of the same proverb
6. “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb”
You may have heard this weather proverb which means that if the month starts stormy, it will end with mild weather. But an interesting fact is that there’s also an interpretation which says that the constellation Leo, rises in the east at the beginning of March and thus the month “comes in like a lion,” while Aries, sets in the west at the end of the month, and hence, the month “will go out like a lamb.”
Birth flower, birthstone, and zodiac signs
7. The March birth flower
The daffodil or jonquil is March’s birth flower. The daffodil signifies affection or unrequited love, while the jonquil’s meaning is the desire for a return of affection.
8. The March birthstone
Aquamarine is March’s birthstone. This gem’s color can be pale to dark blue, greenish-blue, or blue-green. Stick to the deep, intense blue versions, because they are more valuable!
9. Zodiac signs
Happy birthday to all the March babies! If you were born in March, your Zodiac signs are Pisces and Aries. Pisces starts from the 20th of February through to the 20th of March. Aries starts from the 21st of March and lasts until the 20th of April.
Interesting dates on March’s calendar
10. 1st March
St David’s Day is celebrated in Wales on the 1st of March, in honour of St David, the patron saint of Wales! He lived in the 6th century and as a Celtic monk he spread the word of Christianity across Wales. One of the most fascinating stories about Saint David tells how the ground had risen while he was preaching to a huge crowd, so he was then standing on a hill so everyone could hear him.
11. 8th March
The 8th of March is International Women’s Day! This day doesn’t only celebrate the achievements of women and the progress made toward women’s rights, but it also brings awareness to the on-going struggles for equality around the world.
12. 15th March
The 15th of March is known as the Ides of March! On this day Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate. This day is also known as Clean Monday or Pure Monday marking the beginning of Great Lent for followers of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, similar to Ash Wednesday of the Western Church.
13. 17th March
The 17th of March is St. Patrick’s Day! St. Patrick’s Day is acclaimed in the whole of Ireland in honour of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. According to folklore, people wear a shamrock on this day because the Saint used the three-leaved shamrock to explain how the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit could exist as distinct parts of the same being.
14. 28th March
This day on March’s 2021 calendar will represent the start of Daylight Saving Time, which will begin at 1:00 A.M marking the start of British Summer Time (BST). So, don’t forget to set the clocks one hour ahead to “spring forward” or you may find yourself an hour late for everything!
15. 29th to 31st March
These days on the calendar of March are known as the Borrowing Days, in some traditions thought to be taken one each from May, June, and July, and in others all 3 from April. These Borrowing Days have a reputation for being stormy. So, dress accordingly!
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about March? Share them in the comments below!