March is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is the second of seven months to have a length of 31 days. 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.
Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday March 11th, at zero hundred hours (Midnight).
The name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after 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, 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. Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar year perhaps as late as 153 BC, and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally new year‘s celebrations. Even in late antiquity, Roman mosaics picturing the months sometimes still placed March first.
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 (the fiscal year in the UK continues to begin on the 6th April, initially identical to 25 March in the former Julian calendar). Many other cultures and religions still celebrate the beginning of the New Year in March.
March is the first month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (North America, Europe, Asia and part of Africa) and the first month of fall or autumn in the Southern Hemisphere (South America, part of Africa, and Oceania).
Ancient Roman observances celebrated in March include Agonium Martiale, celebrated on March 1, March 14, and March 17, Matronalia, celebrated on March 1, Junonalia, celebrated on March 7, Equirria, celebrated on March 14, Mamuralia, celebrated on either March 14 or March 15, Hilaria on March 15 and then through March 22–28, Argei, celebrated on March 16–17, Liberalia and Bacchanalia, celebrated March 17, Quinquatria, celebrated March 19–23, and Tubilustrium, celebrated March 23. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.
- March’s birthstones are aquamarine and bloodstone. These stones symbolize courage.
- Its birth flower is the daffodil.
- The zodiac signs for the month of March are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 onwards).
This list does not necessarily imply either official status nor general observance.
- In Catholic tradition, March is the Month of Saint Joseph.
- Endometriosis Awareness Month (International observance)
- National Nutrition Month (Canada)
- Season for Nonviolence: January 30 – April 4 (International observance)
- Women’s History Month (Australia, United Kingdom, United States)
- Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
- National Nutrition Month
- Irish-American Heritage Month
- Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
- Music in our Schools Month
- National Athletic Training Month
- National Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month
- National Celery Month
- National Frozen Food Month
- National Kidney Month
- National Professional Social Work Month
- National Reading Awareness Month
- Youth Art Month
Non-Gregorian observances, 2018
(Please note that all Baha’i, Islamic, and Jewish observances begin at the sundown prior to the date listed, and end at sundown of the date in question unless otherwise noted.)
- February 26 – March 1: Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá’í calendar)
- March 1: Chotrul Duchen (Buddhism, Tibetan calendar)
- March 1: Gaura-purnima (Hinduism)
- March 1: Poya (Buddhism, public holiday in Sri Lanka)
- March 1: Purim (Hebrew calendar, Judaism)
- March 2: Daeboreum (Korean calendar)
- March 2: Dol Purnima (Hindus in Assam, Bengal and Odisha)
- March 2: Lantern Festival, also Tourism Day in Taiwan (Chinese calendar)
- March 4: Ayya Vaikunda Avataram (Ayyavazhi, Tamil calendar)
- March 6: Arbor Day (Solar Hijri calendar, Iran)
- March 7: Eknath Sashti (Hinduism)
- March 8-14: Lesser Mysteries (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism (religion)
- March 13: Chaharshanbe Suri (Solar Hijri calendar, Iran)
- March 18-26: Chaitra Navrati (Hinduism, Indian national calendar)
- March 18: Gudi Padwa Marathi Hindus, Indian national calendar
- March 18: Hecate’s Deipnon (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism (religion)
- March 18: Longtaitou Festival, also Earth God’s Birthday in Taiwan (Chinese calendar)
- March 19: Cheti Chand (Sindhi Hindus, Indian National Calendar)
- March 19: Noumenia (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism (religion)
- March 20: Gangaur (Hinduism)
- March 20: Nationalization of Oil Industry (Solar Hijri calendar, Iran)
- March 21: Nowruz (Solar Hijri calendar, Iran, other Iranian people and countries with an Iranian influence)
- March 24: Elaphebolia (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism (religion)
- March 26: Kamada Ekadashi (Hinduism)
- March 28-April 4: Dionysia ta astika (Attic calendar, modern Hellenism (religion)
- March 29: Arattupuzha Pooram (Hinduism, Thrissur district, India, Malayalam calendar)
- March 31: Hanuman Jayanti (Hinduism, Indian National Calendar)
- March 31: Poya (Buddhism, public holiday in Sri Lanka)
Movable observances: 2018
First Thursday: March 1
School day closest to March 2: March 2
First Friday: March 2
Second Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 3
Fifth Sunday before Pascha and Second Sunday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 4
First Sunday: March 4
Second week: March 4–10
Week of March 8: March 4–10
First Monday: March 5
First Tuesday: March 6
Second Thursday: March 8
Third Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 10
Fourth Sunday before Pascha and third Sunday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 11
Fourth Sunday of Lent, 21 days before Easter Sunday in Western Christianity: March 11
Monday closest to March 9, unless March 9 falls on a Saturday: March 12
Second Monday: March 12
Second Wednesday: March 14
Friday of the second full week of March: March 16
Fourth Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 17
Firth Sunday of Lent in Western Christianity: March 18
- Passion Sunday: March 18 (no longer officially celebrated by Roman Catholic church, still celebrated by other denominations)
Third Sunday before Pascha and Fourth Sunday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 18
Third week in March: 18–24
Third Monday: March 19
March equinox: March 20
- Chunfen (East Asia)
- Dísablót (some Asatru groups)
- Earth Equinox Day
- Equinox of the Gods/New Year (Thelema)
- Higan (Japan)
- International Astrology Day
- Mabon (Southern Hemisphere) (Neo-paganism)
- Ostara (Northern hemisphere) (Neo-paganism)
- Shunbun no Hi (Japan)
- Sigrblót (The Troth)
- Summer Finding (Asatru Free Assembly)
- Sun-Earth Day (United States)
- Vernal Equinox Day/Kōreisai (Japan)
- World Storytelling Day
Third Wednesday: March 21
Fifth Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 24
Last Saturday: March 24
Fifth Sunday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: March 25
Week before Easter in Western Christianity: March 25-31
- Holy Week
Fourth Monday: March 26
Last Monday: March 26
Fourth Tuesday: March 27
Friday preceding Good Friday in Eastern Christianity: March 30
Day before Palm Sunday in Eastern Christianity: March 31
- March 1
- Baba Marta (Bulgaria),
- Beer Day (Iceland)
- Commemoration of Mustafa Barzani’s Death (Iraqi Kurdistan)
- Heroes’ Day (Paraguay)
- Independence Day (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
- Mărțișor (Romania and Moldavia)
- National Peanut Butter Day (United States)
- National Pig Day (United States)
- Remembrance Day (Marshall Islands)
- Saint David’s Day (Wales)
- Samiljeol (South Korea)
- Self-injury Awareness Day (International observance)
- World Civil Defence Day
- March 2
- March 3
- March 4
- March 5
- March 6
- March 7
- March 8
- March 9
- March 10
- Harriet Tubman Day (United States of America)
- Holocaust Remembrance Day (Bulgaria)
- Hote Matsuri (Shiogama, Japan)
- National Blueberry Popover Day Day (United States)
- National Mario Day (United States)
- National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (United States)
- Tibetan Uprising Day (Tibetan independence movement)
- March 11
- March 12
- March 13
- March 14
- March 15
- March 16
- March 17
- March 18
- March 19
- Kashubian Unity Day (Poland)
- Minna Canth’s Birthday (Finland)
- Saint Joseph’s Day (Roman Catholicism and Anglican Communion) related observances:
- March 20
- Feast of the Supreme Ritual (Thelema)
- Great American Meatout (United States)
- International Day of Happiness (United Nations)
- Independence Day (Tunisia)
- International Francophonie Day (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie), and its related observance:
- Liberation of Kirkuk City (Iraqi Kurdistan)
- National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (United States)
- World Sparrow Day
- March 21
- Arbor Day (Portugal)
- Birth of Benito Juárez, a Fiestas Patrias (Mexico)
- Harmony Day (Australia)
- Human Rights Day (South Africa)
- Independence Day (Namibia)
- International Colour Day (International observance)
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (International observance)
- International Day of Forests (International observance)
- Mother’s Day (most of the Arab world)
- National Tree Planting Day (Lesotho)
- Truant’s Day (Poland, Faroe Islands)
- World Down Syndrome Day (International observance)
- World Poetry Day (International observance)
- World Puppetry Day (International observance)
- Youth Day (Tunisia)
- March 22
- March 23
- March 24
- Commonwealth Covenant Day (Northern Mariana Islands, United States)
- Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice (Argentina)
- Day of National Revolution (Kyrgyzstan)
- International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims (United Nations)
- National Tree Planting Day (Uganda)
- Student Day (Scientology)
- World Tuberculosis Day
- March 25
- Anniversary of the Arengo and the Feast of the Militants (San Marino)
- Cultural Workers Day (Russia)
- Empress Menen’s Birthday (Rastafari)
- EU Talent Day (European Union)
- Feast of the Annunciation (Christianity), and its related observances:
- Freedom Day (Belarus)
- International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
- International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members (United Nations General Assembly)
- Maryland Day (Maryland, United States)
- Revolution Day (Greece)
- Struggle for Human Rights Day (Slovakia)
- Tolkien Reading Day (Tolkien fandom)
- March 26
- March 27
- March 28
- March 29
- March 30
- March 31
- César Chávez Day (United States)
- Culture Day (Public holidays in the Federated States of Micronesia)
- Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis (Azerbaijan)
- Freedom Day (Malta)
- International Transgender Day of Visibility
- King Nangklao Memorial Day (Thailand)
- National Backup Day (United States)
- National Clams on the Half Shell Day (United States)
- Thomas Mundy Peterson Day (New Jersey, United States)
- Transfer Day (US Virgin Islands)
16 Surprising Facts About the Month of March
The month of March isn’t just about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and the start of spring.
1. It’s March—Happy New Year, ancient Romans!
Welcome to the third month of the year—or, if you were born before 150 B.C., the first! According to the oldest Roman calendars, one year was ten months long, beginning in March and ending in December. It may sound crazy, but you can still see traces of this old system in our modern calendar: because December was the tenth month, it was named for the number ten in Latin (decem), just like September was named for seven (septem). So, what about January and February? They were just two nameless months called “winter,” proving that winter is literally so awful it doesn’t even deserve a spot on the calendar. Check out these vintage photos that prove winter was way worse in the past.
2. It’s the best month for basketball (but worst for productivity)
For civilians, on the other hand, March is known for one thing above all others: brackets. March Madness, as the NBA calls it, runs from March 11 to April 2 this year, and the safest bet you can make is that lots and lots of people will be distracted. One number-crunching firm predicted last year that American companies would lose $1.9 billion in wages paid to unproductive workers spending company time on betting pool priorities. (Suffice it to say, March is not a productive month—this is the single most productive hour and month of the year.) How to recoup these costs? Go into gambling. According to the American Gaming Association, fans wagered more than $2 billion on March Madness brackets for the 2015 tournament. Each one of those 70-million-or-so brackets has a one in 9.2 quintillion (that’s 9 followed by 18 zeroes) chance of predicting the correct winners of every game. Good luck!
3. It’s also the best month for vasectomies
March Madness is a cherished time to reacquaint oneself with the couch, especially during the early tournament days when dozens of games unfold consecutively. In other words, it’s the perfect week to recover from a vasectomy!
According to doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, the number of vasectomies surges by 50 percent during the first week of March Madness. Why? Patients typically need “at least a day with ice” to keep swelling down, says urologist Stephen Jones, MD, “So if they’re going to spend a whole day doing nothing, it’s not hard to figure out that they’d want to do it on a day they’d like to be sitting in front of the television.”
Smart clinics even offer incentives, like the Cape Cod urologists who offered a free pizza with every vasectomy in March 2012. That deal is certainly a cut above the rest!
4. March was named for war—and lives up to its title
So, if so many months were named for their Latin numbers, why wasn’t March called… unumber? Firstly, because that sounds ridiculous, and secondly, because the Gods had dibs on it. March was actually named for the Latin Martius—aka Mars, the Roman God of war and a mythical ancestor of the Roman people via his wolf-suckling sons, Romulus and Remus. With the winter frosts melting and the ground becoming fertile for harvest again in the Northern hemisphere, March was historically the perfect month for both farmers to resume farming, and warriors to resume warring.
Incidentally, the Pentagon still seems to agree with this Roman tradition: with the exception of the recent War on Afghanistan, almost all major US-NATO led military operations since the invasion of Vietnam have begun in the month of March. You can see a full list here, but to name a few: Vietnam (initiated March 8, 1965), Iraq (March 20, 2003), and Libya (March 19, 2011) all follow the trend.
5. Beware The Ides of March unless you’re a cat
We’ve all heard it uttered, but what does “beware the Ides of March” actually mean? On the Roman calendar, the midpoint of every month was known as the Ides. The Ides of March fell on March 15th. This day was supposed to correlate with the first full moon of the year (remember, winter didn’t count then) and marked by religious ceremonies, but thanks to Shakespeare’sJulius Caesar we know it for another reason. Supposedly, in 44 BC, a seer told Julius Caesar that his downfall would come no later than the Ides of March. Caesar ignored him, and when the fated day rolled around he joked with the seer, “The Ides of March have come.” The seer replied, “aye, Caesar; but not gone.” Caesar continued on to a senate meeting at the Theatre of Pompey, and was summarily murdered by as many as 60 conspirators. Ironically, the spot where Caesar was assassinated is protected in today’s Rome as a no-kill cat sanctuary.
So, if someone tells you “beware the Ides of March,” they are probably just being a jerk, or letting you know they’ve read Shakespeare. Don’t miss more facts about the Ides of March you should know.
6. March 1: As the saying goes, March comes “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” That was certainly true on March 1st, 2007, when a detachment of 170 Swiss infantrymen accidentally invaded neighboring Liechtenstein when they got lost on a training mission.
7. March 2: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned from space after one full year, setting a new record for the longest uninterrupted trip to space.
8. March 5: Thirsty bros observe Cinco De Marcho, initiating a 12-day drinking regimen for anyone who wishes to “train one’s liver for the closing ceremonies on St. Patrick’s Day.” By the way, this is why we wear green for St. Patrick’s Day.
9. March 6: The Day of The Dude encourages participants to honor The Big Lebowski by takin’er easy all day, man.
10. March 13: Daylight saving time begins, freeing American city-dwellers from the constant refrain of “it’s dark before I even leave work.” Don’t miss these other daylight saving time facts you probably didn’t know.
11. March 14: Pi Day celebrates the annual occurrence of 3/14 with math jokes, pi-reciting competitions, and (of course) freshly baked pie.
12. March 17: St. Patrick’s Day turns the Chicago River green, and too many livers cirrhosis-damage-brown. (You’ll want to check out these St. Patrick’s Day “facts” that are actually false.) And on this day in 1973, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon” first hits the Billboard Top 200 chart at number 95. A mere 14 years later (736 chart weeks, to be exact), it finally leaves the top 200 for the first time, setting a still-unbroken world record. (You’ve got a long way to go, Adele.)
13. March 20: The sun shines on the equator for the Vernal Equinox, giving us a near 50-50 split of day and night.
14. March 21: The 10th anniversary Twitter founder Jack Dorsey inaugurating the social media site with its profound first tweet: “just setting up my twttr”
15. March 27: Easter Sunday
16. March 28: Gorge Yourself on Discount Easter Candy Monday.
National Breast Implant Awareness Month *
Asset Management Awareness Month
Endometriosis Awareness Month
Irish-American Heritage Month
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
National Caffeine Awareness Month
National Brain Injury Awareness Month
National Celery Month
National Cheerleading Safety Month
National Craft Month
National Credit Education Month
National Flour Month
National Frozen Food Month
National Kidney Month
National Noodle Month
National Nutrition Month
National Peanut Month
National Sauce Month
National Trisomy Awareness Month
National Umbrella Month
National Women’s History Month
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Music in Our Schools Month
National Professional Social Work Month
March, 2018 Bizarre and Unique Holidays
- Irish American Month
- Music in Our Schools Month
- National Craft Month
- National Frozen Food Month
- National Irish American Heritage Month- designated by Congress in 1995.
- National Nutrition Month
- National Peanut Month
- National Women’s History Month
- Red Cross Month
- Social Workers Month
Did you Know? March was named for the Roman God “Mars”
- 2and Week National Bubble Week
- 2and Week Crochet Week
March, 2018 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:
1 Purim – begins at sundown
2 Employee Appreciation Day first Friday in March
2 National Salesperson Day – first Friday in the month
2 World Day of Prayer – First Friday of the month
4 Oscar Night – date varies
8 Popcorn Lover’s Day second Thursday
11 Worship of Tools Day – guys, you can relate
13 Ear Muff Day
13 Jewel Day
14 National Pi Day– Why today? Because today is 3.14, the value of Pi.
16 Incredible Kid Day – date varies
17 National Quilting Day – third Saturday of month
17 Submarine Day – the hero sandwich or the boat??
19 Poultry Day
20 Proposal Day
20 National Agriculture Day – date varies
20 Tea for Two Tuesday – third Tuesday in March
25 Pecan Day
25 Palm Sunday – date varies
25 Waffle Day
30 Good Friday – date varies
March brings with it the promise of gardening and warm(er), sunny days, as Earth turns its frostbitten cheek to winter and springs forth from the vernal equinox. Read about this month’s holidays, happenings, seasonal recipes, gardening tips, Moon phases, folklore, and much more!
In come the March winds,
They blow and blow,
They sweep up the brown leaves
That green ones may grow.
–George Washington Wright Houghton, American poet (1850–91)
- Planning a vegetable garden? We’ve done all the research for you—from how far to space plants to seeding dates to best crops to plant together. Try the Almanac Garden Planner for free!
- Wondering when to plant what? Check out our location-based Gardening Calender to see when to start seeds, when to transplant, and when to harvest in your area.
- Just getting started with gardening? Check out our Vegetable Gardening for Beginners Guide, as well as our numerous veggie, fruit, flower, and herb Growing Guides for more advice.
RECIPES FOR THE SEASON
- In celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day, try making some traditional Irish food—from Irish Soda Bread to Corned Beef and Cabbage. See 20 St. Patrick’s Day recipes.
- March is the start of spring! Enjoy this delicious Spring Risotto recipe, as well as this recipe for Cream of Fiddleheads Soup.
- See our Spring Recipes collection for more delicious recipes using the season’s best ingredients.
- Now is the time for making maple sugar. Read more about this natural wonder. And, to make use of that delicious syrup, check out our favorite Pancake Recipes!
- According to folklore, wear a sprig of rosemary in your hair to improve your memory! Here are more Tips & Tricks to Improve Your Memory.
- March brings rain and mud! Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming. Find more cleaning tips.
BIRDS & FISHING
According to Henry David Thoreau, the call of a bluebird is a song that “melts the ear, as the snow.” Read more about this lovely bird in “House-hunting With the Bluebird.”
Check birdhouses for damage and give them a spring cleaning before tenants arrive for the season. Learn how to attract birds to your garden!
Spring means fishing! See when the Best Days to Fish this year are.
FOLKLORE FOR THE SEASON
- A wet spring, a dry harvest.
- On St. Patrick’s Day, the warm side of a stone turns up, and the broad-back goose begins to lay.
- March comes in with adders’ heads and goes out with peacocks’ tails.
- Thunder in spring, Cold will bring.
- So many mists in March you see, So many frosts in May will be.
- In beginning or in end, March its gifts will send.
- Bleak winds assault us all around;
Dances aloft, or skims the ground:
See the school-boy—his hat in hand,
While on the path he scarce can stand
March’s birth flower is the daffodil or jonquil. The daffodil signifies regard or unrequited love. The jonquil means “I desire a return of affection.” See more about March’s birth flower.
March’s birthstone is the aquamarine. This gem is a type of beryl; its color can be pale to dark blue, greenish-blue, or blue-green; deep, intense blue versions are more valuable. See more about March’s birthstone.
March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (February 20 to March 20) and Aries (March 21 to April 20). See your Zodiac profile.