Soma facts and trivia about March . . .
March was the first month in the Roman calendar
The Roman Calendar started its year in March, spanning 10 months through to December.
Traces of this history exist in the naming of some of the months – December’s Decem is Latin for 10, while September’s Septem is the latinate for 7.
March was named for the Roman God of War
Not all of the months were named for their numerical spot in the calendar.
March takes its name from the Roman god of war – Mars.
With March typically marking the beginning of warmer weather in the northern hemisphere, warriors would begin to train and fight once more as the frost thawed and the ground became easier to work on.
Beware the Ides of March
The Ides of March is the 74th day in the Roman calendar, corresponding to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. In 44 BC, it became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar which made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history.
The Death of Julius Caesar (1806) by Vincenzo Camuccini
Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the Senate. As many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar on the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "Well, the Ides of March are come", implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, they are come, but they are not gone." This meeting is famously dramatised in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."
Daylight Savings Time starts in March in the northern hemisphere.
Daylight Savings Time begins in March, giving an extra hour of daylight after months of long nights and short days.
It is the reverse in Oz, it ends on 3 April.
It’s host to the Vernal Equinox, again in the northern hemisphere.
The Vernal Equinox is the time of year when the day and night are equal in length.
This occurs when the sun is directly above the equator and occurs during March for those living in the northern hemisphere.
If you’re in the southern hemisphere, you have to hold out until September.
And sometimes Easter Sunday!
The exact date Easter falls on varies year by year, but on occasion it can come around as early as the 22nd of March. This year Good Friday falls on April 15.
Lent is a chance for self-discipline
Whether Easter occurs during March or not, Lent does.
Lent lasts for six weeks before Easter and is usually symbolic of self-discipline, with believers choosing to sacrifice something they enjoy or refrain from certain activities in memory of the sacrifice Christ made for humanity and his fast in the desert.
No chocolate, Rosie?
Statistically, March is the least productive month
In the USA, March is associated with ‘March Madness’. This is a period of marked decrease in productivity when compared to the rest of the year.
This is said to be down to the sheer number of people following the NBA season during this period. Past research has shown some companies have lost up to $1.9 billion in wages to staff who didn’t attend work in favour of watching NBA games.
International Women’s Day takes place in March
International Women’s Day was first celebrated following World War II. It takes place on the 8th of arch and is now widely celebrated across the world.
It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975 and serves as a day to acknowledge women’s contributions to society and the sciences, both past and present.
Everyone loves St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day falls on the 17th of March.
St Patrick’s Day was first recognised as an official feast day in the 17th century. Today it serves as a celebration of Irish history and culture.
Folklore has it that the shamrocks worn to celebrate the holiday are a reminder of the three leaves the saint used to symbolize the Holy Trinty.
‘If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.’
Because March straddles winter and spring in the northern hemisphere, it tends to have very harsh, unpleasant weather in the beginning but typically has milder, more palatable weather by the end.
The exact origins of this proverb are unclear. Early citations date back to the 18th century.
The birth flower of March is the daffodil
Daffodils are synonymous with spring and new beginnings. The gifting of a daffodil is said to be one of the purest expressions of love, and over the centuries, literary thinkers seem to have agreed.
English Poet John Keats used daffodils in his poetry on occasion, believing they brought joy, and Wordsworth’s most famous work, ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud,’ is both about and inspired by the flowers and their beauty.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
The telephone was first patented in March
The world’s first telephone was patented on the 7th of March, 1876, by Alexander Graham Bell. He made the first phone call only three days later to his assistant, uttering the first phrase ever transmitted via telephone: “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Bell’s invention went on to change the world and the way we communicate forever.
Monopoly was invented in 1933!
Less groundbreaking than the telephone but the 7th of March 1933 marked the invention of family favourite board game Monopoly.
The game has been re-released in many different versions over the years, with Star Wars and Harry Potter-branded boards, to name only a couple.
The Girl Scouts were founded by Juliette Gordon Low
It’s common knowledge that Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts, but not as much is known about the founding of the Girl Scouts.
Following an encounter with Baden-Powell, Juliette Gordon Low returned to the USA and made an excited call to her cousin with an idea for the future. The Girl Scout Movement was officially founded on the 12th of March, 1912.
The birthstone of March is aquamarine
This pure coloured aquamarine stone invokes tranquility. As the colour would suggest, this stone is also associated with the sea. In fact, that’s what the whole name means. Aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea.