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The Month of March 2022: Holidays, Astronomy, Fun Facts, Folklore | The Old Farmer's Almanac

The Month of March 2022: Holidays, Fun Facts, Folklore

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Everything You Should Know About March

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“March” is named for the Roman god of war, Mars. However, we think of it as the beginning of spring, as March brings the vernal equinox, the Full Worm Moon and the return of Daylight Saving Time! Here are important dates, gardening tips, and early spring recipes to celebrate the start of spring.

The Month of March

“March” is named for the Roman god of war, Mars. This was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter. Read more about how the months got their names.

In the early Roman calendar, March (or Martius) was the first month of the calendar year. As March brought the first day of spring with the vernal equinox, it was the start of new beginnings.

March became the third month when January and February, which were added to the end of the Roman calendar around 700 BCE, instead became the first and second months around 450 BCE.

I Martius am! Once first, and now third!
To lead the Year was my appointed place;
A mortal dispossessed me by a word,
And set there Janus with the double face
.
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (1807–82)

March Calendar

  • March 1 is Mardi Gras (aka “Fat Tuesday” or Shrove Tuesday), which is the final feasting day before the Christian tradition of Lent begins on the following day, Ash Wednesday (March 2, 2022).
  • March 7 is Clean Monday. Also called Pure Monday, this day marks the beginning of Great Lent for followers of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. This day is similar to Ash Wednesday of the Western Church.
  • March 8 is International Women’s Day, which is a day that not only celebrates the achievements of women and the progress made toward women’s rights, but also brings attention to ongoing struggles for equality around the world.
  • March 13 is the start of Daylight Saving Time, which begins at 2:00 A.M. that day. If your area observes it, don’t forget to “spring forward” and set the clocks one hour ahead, or you may find yourself an hour late to everything! 
  • March 15 is the Ides of March! Legend surrounds this ill-fated day. Beware the Ides of March!
  • March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. According to folklore, folks wear a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day because the saint used its three leaves to explain the Trinity. 
  • March 20 brings about the March equinox—also called the vernal or spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere—marking the beginning of spring. In the Southern Hemisphere, this date marks the autumnal equinox and the beginning of fall. On this day, the Sun stands directly over Earth’s equator.
  • March 29-31 are known as the Borrowing DaysAccording to lore, the last three days of March have a reputation for being stormy.

Daffodils

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)

“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

March Astronomy

The Full Worm Moon

March’s full Moon, the Worm Moon, reaches peak illumination on Friday, March 18, 2022, at 3:20 A.M. EDT. Look for it in the evening of Thursday, March 17, as the Moon rises above the horizon!

Why is it called the Worm Moon? Find out in our March full Moon guide!

moon_px_full_width.jpg

In Like a Leo, Out Like an Aries

You may have heard the weather proverb, “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb,” which means that if the month starts off stormy, it will end with mild weather. There is, however, a different interpretation: The constellation Leo, the lion, rises in the east at the beginning of March and thus the month “comes in like a lion,” while Aries, the ram, sets in the west at the end of the month, and hence, the month “will go out like a lamb.”

The Start of Spring

The March equinox occurs on Sunday, March 20, 2022. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox and marks the start of the spring season. In the Southern Hemisphere, autumn begins.

At this time, the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north. Also on this day, the Sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west—a good thing to know if you get lost in the woods.

→ Learn more about the March equinox here!

Equinox Quiz

The March equinox occurs on March 20 at 11:33 A.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.

Seedlings in DirtPhoto Credit: Sergii Kononenko/Shutterstock

March Gardening

  • 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. Try the Almanac Garden Planner for free!
  • 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 new Learn to Garden series, as well as our numerous veggie, fruit, flower, and herb Growing Guides for more advice.

Irish StewIrish Stew. Photo Credit: Sumners Graphics Inc./Getty Images

Recipes for the Season

Rosemary

Everyday Advice

Eastern bluebird

Birds & Fishing

According to Henry David Thoreau, the call of a bluebird is a song that “melts the ear, as the snow.” Read more about this lovely bird in “House-hunting With the Bluebird.”

Check birdhouses for damage and give them a spring cleaning before tenants arrive for the season. Learn how to attract birds to your garden

Spring means fishing! See when the Best Days to Fish this year are.

Cloudy blue sky

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.” See more about March’s birth flower.

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. See more about March’s birthstone.

March’s Zodiac signs are Pisces (February 20 to March 20) and Aries (March 21 to April 20). See your Zodiac profile.

Learn More

Read about the previous month, February, or the next month, April!

2023 Almanac Club