March Holidays and History

Ah, March, in like a lion, out like a lamb, or so the saying goes. That’s not the only saying attributed to the moody month. For the Northern Hemisphere, March ushers in spring. That was even true back in the days of the Julian calendar when there were only 10 months and March started off the year. Sayings such as “A bushel of March dust is worth a King’s ransom,” and “March many weathers,” remind us of the swiftly changing and windy weather March brings.

The first three days in March were once considered bad luck. They called them the blind days. No one would plant, enter into an agreement, or a journey during these days. Speaking of the beginning of March, there are some pretty tasty holidays to keep us appeased while the weather makes up its mind. Peanut butter and Banana Cream Pie are just a couple of them.

March is also known for its borrowing days. Though the story has changed through the ages, the month is no stranger to tumultuous weather. Hundreds of years ago the borrowing days were known to be any wild weather day in March. In later years, the days came to be assigned to the last three days in March. The end of the month gets down to business, too. We’re talking Mom and Pop Business Day, Walks in the Park and Prom. Serious stuff.

Weather & Seasons

Spring makes its appearance in March with the vernal equinox, and with it comes a lot of activity in nature. Birds migrate. Animals begin to mate. (They give us the phrase, “Mad as a March hare,” too.) Plants begin to grow. Even the full moon gets involved. The full moon in March is called the Worm Moon. It earns this name because of all the insects beginning to hatch.

Birth Flowers – Daffodile and jonquil
Birth Stone – Aquamarine
Zodiac Signs – Pisces and Aries

Daylight saving time also adds an element of tradition and rancor to the season as many (though not all) spring forward and change their clocks one hour.

Five Fast Facts

1. Historically, planting and war go hand in hand in March. Named for the Roman god of War, Mars, March became a time when armies began to march again and farmers tilled their soil. While farming and the military have both dramatically changed since Roman times, March and spring still hold power over both of them.

2. Birthdays in March

3. March Madness kicks into high gear as basketball enthusiasts cheer on their favorite teams. Whether cheering on a local high school team or their college and professional players, fans wear their colors and watch every nail-biting game.

4. Beware the Ides of March. When the world used the Roman calendar, the middle of each month was called the “Ides.” What makes March so special? Well, the 15th was always the midpoint in March, and in 44 BC an oracle predicted Julius Caesar’s downfall to be no later than the Ides of March.

5. The phrase “in like a lion, out like a lamb” refers to the proverb that says:

“If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.”

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