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The name of March comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and named Martius after Mars, the Roman god of war. In Rome, where the climate is Mediterranean, March is the first month of spring, a logical point for the beginning of the year as well as the start of the military campaign season. January became the first month of the calendar year either under King Numa Pompilius (circa 713 BCE) or under the Decemvirs about 450 BCE (Roman writers differ).The numbered year began on March 1 in Russia until the end of the fifteenth century. Great Britain and her colonies continued to use March 25 until 1752, which was when they ultimately adopted the Gregorian calendar. Many other cultures and religions still celebrate the beginning of the New Year in March.
In Finnish, the month is called maaliskuu, which originates from maallinen kuu, meaning earthy month, because during maaliskuu, earth finally became visible under the snow. In Ukrainian, the month is called березень, meaning birch tree. Historical names for March include the Saxon Lentmonat, named after the 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 leap years, March starts on the same day of the week as November and common years as February.
Events in March
- American Red Cross Month
- Colorectal Cancer awareness month
- Fire Prevention Month (The Philippines)
- Women's History Month (United States)
- The wearing of a Martenitsa in Bulgaria and Mărţişor in Romania, March 1
- Saint David's Day, March 1
- National Reading Day (United States), March 2
- Texas Independence Day, March 2: State holiday in Texas, United States
- Mardi Gras (February 3 to March 9 in regular years, February 4 to March 9 in leap years)
- Ash Wednesday (February 4 to March 10 in regular years, February 5 to March 10 in leap years)
- World Maths Day, the 1st Wednesday in March
- International Women's Day, March 8
- Pluto Planet Day (New Mexico), March 13 (discussed here)
- White Day(Asia), March 14
- Pi Day, March 14
- Save a Spider Day, March 14
- The Ides of March, the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar by Brutus, Cassius, Casca and others (March 15)
- Anniversary of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, March 15
- Saint Patrick's Day, March 17
- Saint Joseph's Day, March 19
- The equinox, named the vernal or spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere, occurs on dates varying from March 19 to March 21 (in UTC)
- Nowruz: New Year's Day in Iran and several other countries; also a holiday in Turkey and Central Asian countries as well, celebrated on the day of the equinox
- Good Friday, a Friday between March 20 and April 23, being the last Friday before Easter
- Human Rights' Day (South Africa), March 21
- Easter, the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21, sometimes in April
- World Water Day, March 22
- Pakistan Day, March 23
- Day of Polish-Hungarian Friendship, March 23
- Annunciation, March 25
- Celebration of the Greek War of Independence, March 25, 1821
- Last day of Japanese fiscal year and school calendar, March 31. Hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, starts around this time of the year.
- Prince Kūhiō Day, March 26: state holiday in the State of Hawaii, United States
- Bangladeshi Independence Day, March 26, 1971
- Moustache March (), United States
- March's birthstone is aquamarine and bloodstone. They mean courage.
- Its birth flower is the Narcissus (plant)