March

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March Listeni/mɑr/ is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is one of seven months that are 31 days long. In the Northern Hemisphere, the meteorological beginning of spring occurs on the first day of March. The March equinox on the 20th or 21st marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, where September is the seasonal equivalent of the Northern Hemisphere's March.

March starts on the same day of the week as November every year, and February in common years only. March ends on the same day of the week as June every year. In leap years, March starts on the same day as September and December of the previous year. In common years, March starts on the same day as June of the previous year. In leap years, March ends on the same day of the week as April and December of the previous year. In common years, March ends on the same day of the week as September of the previous year. In years immediately before leap years, March starts on the same day of the week as May of the following year. In years immediately before common years, March starts on the same day of the week as August of the previous year. In years immediately before leap years, March ends on the same day of the week as May of the following year. In years immediately before common years, March ends on the same day of the week as August and November of the following year.

Origin

March, from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, a book of prayers to be said at canonical hours

The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named for Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare,1 and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close.2 Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar year perhaps as late as 153 BC,3 and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally new year's celebrations.4 Even in late antiquity, Roman mosaics picturing the months sometimes still placed March first.5

March 1 began the numbered year in Russia until the end of the 15th century. Great Britain and its colonies continued to use March 25 until 1752, when they finally adopted the Gregorian calendar. Many other cultures and religions still celebrate the beginning of the New Year in March.

Other names

In Finnish, the month is called maaliskuu, which is believed to originate from maallinen kuu, during March, earth finally becomes visible under the snow (other etymological theories have however been put forward). In Ukrainian, the month is called березень, meaning birch tree, and březen in Czech. Historical names for March include the Saxon Lentmonat, named after the March equinox and gradual lengthening of days, and the eventual namesake of Lent. Saxons also called March Rhed-monat or Hreth-monath (deriving from their goddess Rhedam/Hreth), and Angles called it Hyld-monath. In Slovene, the traditional name is sušec, meaning the month when the earth becomes dry enough so that it is possible to cultivate it. The name was first written in 1466 in the Škofja Loka manuscript. Other names were used too, for example brezen and breznik, "the month of birches".6 The Turkish word Mart is given after the name of Mars the god.

Events in March

March symbols

The Daffodil, the floral emblem of March

References

  1. ^ Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price, Religions of Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 47–48 and 53.
  2. ^ Michael Lipka, Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach (Brill, 2009), p. 37. The views of Georg Wissowa on the festivals of Mars framing the military campaigning season are summarized by C. Bennett Pascal, "October Horse," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 85 (1981), p. 264, with bibliography.
  3. ^ H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981), p. 84; Gary Forsythe, Time in Roman Religion: One Thousand Years of Religious History (Routledge, 2012), p. 14 (on the uncertainty of when the change occurred).
  4. ^ Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic, p. 85ff.
  5. ^ Aïcha Ben Abed, Tunisian Mosaics: Treasures from Roman Africa (Getty Publications, 2006), p. 113.
  6. ^ Koledar prireditev v letu 2007 in druge informacije občine Dobrova–Polhov Gradec The Calendar of Events and Other Information of the Municipality of Dobrova–Polhov Gradec (in Slovene). Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec. 2006. 
  7. ^ http://www.purpleday.org/
  8. ^ http://www.birthflowersguide.com/march-birth-flower.html

External links








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