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March is the third month of the year and named after Mars 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 20 or 21 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. Birthday Number the letter "M".

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  • ✪ What’s Up: March 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA
  • ✪ Tonight's Sky: March 2019
  • ✪ Rare Astronomical Events of 2019! (Don't miss them)
  • ✪ Saturn occultation by the moon, March 2019, from South Africa


[♪] [Narrator] What's Up for March? Jupiter in the morning, the start of spring, and a visit to the Beehive. Jupiter greets early risers all month long. Look low in the southeast an hour before sunrise. (And if you have an unobstructed view toward the horizon, you'll be able to spot Saturn and Venus as well, a bit lower in the sky.) March marks the 40th anniversary of the Voyager 1 spacecraft's flyby of Jupiter, in 1979. Voyager gave us our first detailed, close-up look at the giant planet and its moons. March also brings the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, starting on the 20th, with the Spring Equinox. Equinoxes occur twice a year, in spring and fall, on the dates when day and night are of equal length. From here until the beginning of fall, in September, daytime will be longer than nighttime, as the Sun travels a longer, higher arc across the sky each day, reaching a peak at the start of summer. It's just the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, where March 20th marks the fall Equinox. The arrival of spring in the Northern Hemisphere brings fresh flowers and the buzzing of bees, which makes March a great time to try to spot the Beehive Cluster. This grouping of young stars sits about 600 light years away and consists of several hundred stars that are only a few hundred million years old. That's compared to our Sun's four-and-a-half billion years. Although the Beehive can be seen as a small fuzzy patch with unaided eyes under dark skies, it's best viewed with binoculars. To find the Beehive Cluster, look south and follow a line from brilliant Sirius ━ the brightest star in the sky ━ upward and slightly to the left, toward another of the sky's brightest stars, Procyon. Continue that path about the same distance upward and then a couple of finger widths to the left. While the Beehive Cluster is visible in the first half of the night all month long, the best times to look for it are the first and last weeks of the month, as the Moon shines brightly mid -month, making faint objects like this cluster more difficult see. And here are the phases of the Moon for March. You can catch up on all of NASA's current and future missions at That's all for this month. [NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology]



March, from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, a book of prayers to be said at canonical hours
March, from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, a book of prayers to be said at canonical hours

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, and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for warfare,[1] 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.[2] Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar year perhaps as late as 153 BC,[3] and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally new year's celebrations.[4] Even in late antiquity, Roman mosaics picturing the months sometimes still placed March first.[5]

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.

Other names

In Finnish, the month is called maaliskuu, which is believed to originate from maallinen kuu, during March, earth finally becomes visible under the snow (other etymological theories have however been put forward). In Ukrainian, the month is called березень/berezenʹ, meaning birch tree, and březen in Czech. Historical names for March include the Saxon Lentmonat, named after the March 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 Slovene, the traditional name is sušec, meaning the month when the earth becomes dry enough so that it is possible to cultivate it. The name was first written in 1466 in the Škofja Loka manuscript. Other names were used too, for example brezen and breznik, "the month of birches".[6] The Turkish word Mart is given after the name of Mars the god.

March symbols

The Daffodil, the floral emblem of March
The Daffodil, the floral emblem of March

March observances

This list does not necessarily imply either official status nor general observance.

Month-long observances

United States

Non-Gregorian observances, 2019

(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.)

Movable observances: 2019

First Sunday of Lent in (Western Christianity):

First Saturday of Great Lent (Eastern Christianity):

Monday to Sunday following the 9th Sunday before Pascha (Eastern Christianity): March 3

Saturday of Meatfare Week (Eastern Christianity):

Sunday of Meatfare week (Eastern Christianity):

Saturday before Ash Wednesday (Western Christianity): March 2

Monday to Sunday following Meatfare week (Eastern Christianity):

Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (Western Christianity):

46 days before Easter (Western Christianity):

Friday after Ash Wednesday (Western Christianity):

Sunday of Cheesefare week (Eastern Christianity):

First Sunday of Great Lent (Eastern Christianity):

Monday after Sunday of Forgiveness (Eastern Christianity):

First Thursday

School day closest to March 2

First Friday

Second Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity

Fifth Sunday before Pascha and Second Sunday of Lent in Eastern Christianity

First Sunday

Second week

Week of March 8

First Monday

First Tuesday

Second Thursday

Third Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity

Fourth Sunday before Pascha and third Sunday of Lent in Eastern Christianity

Fourth Sunday of Lent, 21 days before Easter Sunday in Western Christianity

Second Sunday

Monday closest to March 9, unless March 9 falls on a Saturday

Second Monday

Second Wednesday

Friday of the second full week of March

Fourth Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity

Fifth Sunday of Lent in Western Christianity

  • Passion Sunday (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

Third week in March

Third Monday

March 19th, unless the 19th is a Sunday, then March 20

March equinox

Third Wednesday

Fifth Saturday of Lent in Eastern Christianity: M

Last Saturday

Fifth Sunday of Lent in Eastern Christianity

Week before Easter in Western Christianity

Last Sunday

Fourth Monday

Last Monday

Fourth Tuesday

Friday preceding Good Friday in Eastern Christianity

Day before Palm Sunday in Eastern Christianity

Fixed observances


  1. ^ Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price, Religions of Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 47–48 and 53.
  2. ^ Michael Lipka, Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach (Brill, 2009), p. 37. The views of Georg Wissowa on the festivals of Mars framing the military campaigning season are summarized by C. Bennett Pascal, "October Horse," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 85 (1981), p. 264, with bibliography.
  3. ^ H.H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (Cornell University Press, 1981), p. 84; Gary Forsythe, Time in Roman Religion: One Thousand Years of Religious History (Routledge, 2012), p. 14 (on the uncertainty of when the change occurred).
  4. ^ Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic, p. 85ff.
  5. ^ Aïcha Ben Abed, Tunisian Mosaics: Treasures from Roman Africa (Getty Publications, 2006), p. 113.
  6. ^ "Koledar prireditev v letu 2007 in druge informacije občine Dobrova–Polhov Gradec" [The Calendar of Events and Other Information of the Municipality of Dobrova–Polhov Gradec] (PDF) (in Slovenian). Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-02.
  7. ^ "March Birth Flower : Flower Meaning".
  8. ^ "National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month – UCP".
  9. ^ "Homepage". 2 February 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 July 2019, at 06:38
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