Welcome to March

St. Patrick’s Day postcard, 1912 of “Old Weir Bridge” at Dinis Cottage, in Killarney National Park, Ireland.
Public Domain/Wikipedia

March is the third month on both the old Julian and current Gregorian calendar. It is the month that begins spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. March is believed to be derived from the Roman god Mars (Greek equivalent Ares). Before the advent of the Julian calendar, Romans considered March the first month of the new year. With winter over, it was also the start of military campaigns to resume. Festivals were also held at this time in ancient Rome to honor Mars as well.

The March equinox is usually around March 21-22. Many spring festivals take place in March. Passover and Easter may take place in March, but not always as it is dependent upon very specific calculations and can change from year to year. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17. If it falls on a Friday, Catholics are given dispensation to eat meat on that day (at least in Ireland and in areas where the feast is celebrated) If it falls on a Sunday, the diocese that observes the day will do so on Monday. For Ireland, since St. Patrick is its patron saint, it will be celebrated on Sunday replacing the normally observed day of Lent.

The famous Ides of March (March 15) was once a day to pay debts in Rome, but it became infamously associated with the assassination of Julius Caesar on that day in 44 BC. Daylight Saving Time begins in the U.S. and Canada on the second Sunday in March. For most of Europe, this will occur on March 31. The first full moon of March is often called the Worm Moon as many earthworms are being noticed in the Northern Hemisphere.