From being named after the Roman god of war to celebrating the Easter holidays, here are 15 fun facts about March that may surprise you!
When we think about March, there are a few things that spring to mind.
March usually marks the end of the cold months and the beginning of spring, when the trees begin to bloom again, and we can all go back outside without wearing seven jumpers. If you’re still cooped up inside, we’ve got a few fun facts about March for you.
Though you may not think the month of March is particularly special, it hosts quite a number of holidays. Easter often falls in March, and thus Lent. This usually alongside the Vernal Equinox when the days start getting longer (yay!)
International Women’s Day also takes place on the 8th, and St Patrick’s Day on the 17th. And let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy the celebrations when St Paddy’s Day rolls around?
There’s some fascinating history to the the month of March as well. Did you know the Romans placed it somewhere entirely different in their calendar? In fact, have you ever wondered where March got its name from? There’s a lot in a name, and the origins of the month we usually associate with rebirth and celebration may come as quite the surprise!
With that said, it’s about time we dive in and take a closer look at what makes the month of March so unique. We’ve got 16 March facts ready and waiting, so read on to learn a little more about its origins, holidays, and more. We’d like to bet there are a few in here you won’t know about!
Also, you can learn all about the fun facts of April here. This really is one of the most fascinating months of the year so check it out why now!
16 Fun Facts About March
1. March was the first month in the Roman calendar
This’ll probably be news to you unless you happen to have been born around 150BC. The Roman Calendar started its year in March, spanning 10 months all the way through to December.
Traces of this history exist in the naming of some of the months – December’s Decem is Latin for 10, while September’s Septem is the latinate for 7.
2. March was named for the Roman God of War
Not all of the months were named for their numerical spot in the calendar, however. March itself borrows its name from the Roman god of war – Mars.
With March typically marking the beginning of warmer weather, warriors would begin to train and fight once more as the frost thawed and the ground became easier to work on. This is such a cool fact about March!
3. Daylight Savings Time starts in March
Daylight Savings Time begins in March, blessing us all with an extra hour of daylight after months of long, long nights and short, short days.
It’s designed for the benefit of agricultural workers, such as farmers, and for the benefit of our mental health in general. Researchers believe the extra hour of sunlight can make a massive difference to your overall mood, and we’re certainly not going to argue with more sun!
4. It’s host to the Vernal Equinox
Though not a term you hear bandied about often, the Vernal Equinox is the time of year when the day and night are equal in length.
This occurs when the sun is directly above the equator and occurs during March for those living in the Northern Hemisphere. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you have our condolences – best hold out until September.
5. And sometimes Easter Sunday!
The exact date Easter falls on varies year by year, but on occasion it can come around as early as the 22nd of March. While initially a holiday dedicated to the memory of Jesus Christ and his resurrection, its cultural meaning has shifted to include chocolate eggs and gift-giving bunnies. We’re not complaining when chocolate is involved.
6. Lent is a chance for self-discipline
Of course, whether Easter itself occurs during March or not, Lent most certainly does. Lent lasts for six weeks before Easter and is usually symbolic of self-discipline, with believers choosing to sacrifice something they enjoy or refrain from certain activities in memory of the sacrifice Christ made for humanity and his fast in the desert.
7. Statistically, March is the least productive month
In the USA, March is associated with ‘March Madness’. This is a period of marked decrease in productivity when compared to the rest of the year.
Believe it or not, this is said to be down to the sheer number of people following the NBA season during this period. Past research has shown some companies have lost up to $1.9 billion in wages to staff who didn’t attend work in favour of watching NBA games. Madness indeed.
8. International Women’s Day takes place in March
International Women’s Day was first celebrated following World War II. It takes place on the 8th of March and is now widely celebrated across the world.
It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975 and serves as a day to acknowledge women’s contributions to society and the sciences, both past and present.
9. As does St Patrick’s Day!
And then, of course, there’s St Patrick’s Day, which falls on the 17th of March. St Patrick’s Day was first recognized as an official feast day in the 17th century. Today it serves as a celebration of Irish history and culture.
Folklore has it that the shamrocks worn to celebrate the holiday are a reminder of the three leaves the saint used to symbolize the Holy Trinty.
10. ‘If March comes in like a lion, It will go out like a lamb.’
OK, OK – this is a list of March facts, and this isn’t technically a fact, but we’ve all heard the proverb before, so we’re rolling with it.
Though it’s often repeated, usually in jest, the exact origins of this piece of wisdom are quite unclear. Early citations date back to the 18th century, but nobody’s sure where it first sprung up. However, there’s presumably some wisdom to it, as it’s survived hundreds of years without even a name to attribute it to.
11. The birth flower of March is the daffodil
Daffodils are synonymous with spring and new beginnings. The gifting of a daffodil is said to be one of the purest expressions of love, and over the centuries, literary thinkers seem to have agreed.
English Poet John Keats used daffodils in his poetry on occasion, believing they brought joy, and Wordsworth’s most famous work, ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud,’ is both about and inspired by the flowers and their beauty.
12. The telephone was first patented in March
The world’s first telephone was patented on the 7th of March, 1876, by Alexander Graham Bell. He made the first phone call only three days later to his assistant, uttering the first phrase ever transmitted via telephone: “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Bell’s invention went on to change the world and the way we communicate forever. What a legend.
13. And Monopoly was invented in 1933!
Slightly less groundbreaking than the telephone, perhaps, but the 7th of March 1933 marked the invention of family favourite board game Monopoly.
In calling it a family favourite, we, of course, exclude the many, many families unable to play the game civilly. The game has been re-released in many different versions over the years, with Star Wars and Harry Potter-branded boards, to name only a couple.
14. The Girl Scouts were founded by Juliette Gordon Low
It’s common knowledge that Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts, but not as much is known about the founding of the Girl Scouts.
Following an encounter with Baden-Powell, Juliette Gordon Low returned to the USA and made an excited call to her cousin with an idea for the future. The Girl Scout Movement was officially founded on the 12th of March, 1912.
15. And for better or worse, Coca-Cola was invented
Coca-Cola was invented by John Pemberton in the March of 1886. It was initially intended to be a patent medicine – heavily advertised, over-the-counter products with dubious medical uses.
After Pemberton’s product was bought out by a savvy businessman, it grew to become the soft drinks juggernaut it is today. Pemberton made little money from the product, but he invented a drink that became the bane of dentists and planned to sell it as a fraudulent pseudo-medicine, so it’s hard to feel too bad for the chap.
16. The birthstone of March is aquamarine
This pure colored aquamarine stone invokes tranquility. As the color would suggest, this stone is also associated with the sea. In fact, that’s what the whole name means. Aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea.
Which of these fun facts about March did you find most fascinating?
If you’ve got any of your own March facts you’d like to add, feel free to let us know in the comments below!