ALL ABOUT THE MONTH OF MARCH
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!
The brown buds thicken on the trees,
Unbound, the free streams sing,
As March leads forth across the leas
The wild and windy spring.
–Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832–1911)
The month of March was named for the Roman god of war, Mars. Traditionally, this was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter.
- March 5: Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) or Shrove Tuesday.
- March 8: International Women’s Day.
- March 10: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 A.M. Don’t forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead one hour!
- March 15: The Ides of March. Legend surrounds this ill-fated day. Beware the Ides of March!
- March 17: St. Patrick’s Day. Read more about St. Patrick’s Day.
- March 20: The vernal equinox, also called the Spring Equinox, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs on Wednesday, March 20, at 5:58 P.M. EDT. On this day, the Sun rises due east and sets due west. In the Southern Hemisphere, this date marks the autumnal equinox.
- The Borrowing Days: According to lore, the last three days of March have a reputation for being stormy.
- Easter Sunday: This year, Easter Sunday will occur on April 21, culminating the Holy Week for Christian churches and commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Read more about Easter Sunday and why the date changes every year.
“Just for Fun” Days
Did you know that March is National Umbrella Month? Here are some more wacky things to celebrate this month:
- March 3: What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day
- March 9: International Fanny Pack Day
- March 13: National Ear Muff Day
- March 16: National Panda Day
- March 21: Absolutely Incredible Kid Day
- March 23: World Meteorological Day
- March 31: World Backup Day
The March equinox occurs on March 20 at 5:58 P.M. EDT this year, ushering in the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere. At this time, the Sun’s position will be at which of the following coordinates on the celestial sphere?
A. 0 hour right ascension, 0° declination.
B. 6 hours right ascension, 23.5° North declination.
C. 12 hours right ascension, 0° declination
D. 18 hours right ascension, 23.5° South declination
Answer: A. B describes the Sun’s position during the June (summer) solstice; C, during the September (fall) equinox; and D, during the December (winter) solstice.
Photo Credit: Sergii Kononenko/Shutterstock
- 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.
- Wondering when to plant what? Check out our free location-based Planting Calender to see when to start seeds and transplant 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.
- 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.
- According to folklore, wear a sprig of rosemary in your hair to improve your memory!
- March brings rain and mud! Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming.
BIRDS & FISHING
According to Henry David Thoreau, the call of a bluebird is a song that “melts the ear, as the snow.”
Check birdhouses for damage and give them a spring cleaning before tenants arrive for the season.
Spring means fishing!
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.”
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.
March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (February 20 to March 20) and Aries (March 21 to April 20).