March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Some years March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion. Either way, you know you’re in for a fair bit of wind this month.
Turning over the calendar leaf to March leads to thoughts of Spring. We eagerly anticipate buds and blossoms. Here in our neck of the woods we can already see the daffodils, dandelions, forsythia, and pear trees in bloom.
I was somewhat surprised to see the varied lot of holidays listed for this month. Holidays like Peace Corps Day, Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, Earmuff Day, and Extraterrestrial Abductions Day. Where do these holidays come from? I’ll not likely answer that question, but I will tell you about a few of the ones I found.
Let’s begin looking at March holidays with National Pig Day, on 1st March. National Pig Day? Yes, you read that correctly! It’s a day to celebrate and give respect to domesticated pigs. Now, believe it or not, this holiday hasn’t been declared a “National” day by Congress (I wonder why?). The day was actually promoted by a Texas art teacher named Ellen Stanley back in 1972. She wanted us to recognize and be thankful for the pig as an intelligent beast. To quote an old and dear friend, “Strange, odd, and curious!” Actually, I do honor the pig as I devour his ribs, chops, bacon, etc. Yes indeed. He is highly honored at our table!
Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday: Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, also called Mardi Gras. Many people of the Christian persuasion fast and give up something they enjoy on Ash Wednesday. They attempt to maintain that fasting and abstinence for the 40(ish) days leading up to Easter. So, Mardi Gras is a day of eating, drinking, and doing whatever the hell they want in preparation for Lent. Mardi Gras is celebrated around the world, but the very name conjures images of New Orleans and Bourbon Street. There’ll be festivities, parades, food, and drink aplenty as revelers toss and catch beads and trinkets from the parades.
Plant a Flower Day (12th March) is a good time to get outside and play in the dirt! I’m already poring over the seed catalogues and checking how last year’s plantings have survived the winter. Down in the garage we’ve got roses, hydrangeas, lilacs, and blueberries waiting under the grow light. I just love spring and gardening; don’t you?
I can’t leave this topic without mentioning 15th March, or Ides of March. The Ides of March is the first day of Spring as well as the first day of the new year in the Roman Calendar. More famously though, was the time the soothsayers warned ol’ Julius Caesar to “beware the Ides of March”. He figured those old guys didn’t know what they were talking about and for his trouble, he got a taste of the steel as Marcus Brutus and that mob stabbed him to death.
St Patrick’s Day on 17th March has come to be celebrated all around the globe. It’s the commemoration of the death of Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, who brought Christianity to those shores. The usual Lenten restrictions are lifted for the day to allow for drinking and revelry. While the celebration varies from city to city and country to country it’s always and everywhere heavy on the eating and drinking! Thanks to the global Irish diaspora, everyone is just a little bit Irish on St Patrick’s Day.
We in the United States seem to be absolutely nuts about our holidays. Really, I can’t think why. Consider this; a holiday, per the Cambridge Dictionary, is “a day for celebration when many people are allowed to stay away from work or school”. Most of us, if we’re lucky have around 5 of those holidays during the work year. All these other hundreds of ‘holidays’ seem to be declared to appease a certain group or region and aren’t really holidays at all. No celebrations occur, as far as I can tell, for days like Submarine Day, Fragrance Day, or even Melba Toast Day. So, what purpose do they serve; I ask you?
How about in your country? Are there ‘strange, odd, and curious’ holidays that make you go hmmmm? Drop me a line in the comments below and tell me what you think of our holidays, and yours. Thanks for coming; see ya!
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