The Month of March 2020: Holidays, Fun Facts, Folklore

Everything You Should Know About March

February 3, 2020
Spring Flowers
Pixabay

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!

March, the third month of the year, 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. Read more about how the months got their names.

Originally, March is the third month of the year. It has 31 days and is named after Mars, the Roman god of war.

In the early Roman calendar, March (or Martius) was the first month!  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, were moved to 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 2020 Holidays

  • Sunday, March 8 is the start of Daylight Saving Time, which begins at 2:00 A.M. that night. If your area observes it, don’t forget to set the clocks one hour ahead, or you’ll find yourself an hour late to appointments! 
  • March 8 is also 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.
  • Sunday, March 15 is the Ides of March! Legend surrounds this ill-fated day. Beware the Ides of March!
  • Tuesday, 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. 
  • Thursday, March 19 brings about the March equinox—also called the vernal or spring equinox—marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. On this day, the Sun stands directly over Earth’s equator. In the Southern Hemisphere, this date marks the autumnal equinox and the beginning of fall.
  • March 29-31 are the Borrowing DaysAccording to lore, the last three days of March have a reputation for being stormy.
  • Looking ahead: This year, Easter Sunday will occur on April 12, culminating the Holy Week for Christian churches and commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Read more about Easter Sunday and find out why the date changes every year.

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 fullness on Monday, March 9, at 1:48 PM EDT. Look for it that evening as it rises above the horizon!

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

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March Moon Phases

First Quarter: Mar. 2, at 2:57 P.M. EST
Full Worm Moon: Mar. 9, at 1:48 P.M. EDT
Last Quarter: Mar. 16, at 5:34 A.M. EDT
New Moon: Mar. 24, at 5:28 A.M. EDT

See YOUR local Moon phase times.

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 Thursday, March 19 at 11:50 P.M. EDT. 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 19 at 11:50 P.M. EDT in 2020, 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 Dirt
Photo Credit: Sergii Kononenko/Shutterstock

March Gardening

Irish Stew
Irish 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!

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Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

March special days

March 1st is St. David's Day, sort of the Welsh equivalent of St. Patrick's Day.

Daffodil sprouts

Hello,

My daffodils have sprouted here in southwestern PA. They are a few inches high. Temps are supposed to drop into the 20's the next few nights. Should I protect and cover these little sprouts or leave them be?

Daffodils

The Editors's picture

They will probably be fine, but it wouldn’t hurt to give them a little extra help!

wild onions

I have wild onions all over my lawn I was told there is a certain time you mow them and they wont come back does anybody have any information on this I would appreciate it I am in North carolina

wild onions

The Editors's picture

The organic method of eliminating these is to dig them up, careful not to shake even the tiniest ones back into the soil. Removal this way is easiest when the soil is moist to wet.

If you are looking for true “best days.” astrologically speaking, they would be in the print edition of the Almanac. Because there are many days through the season it is not possible to identify them all here. You can get the dates by month on this web site. Here’s March: https://www.almanac.com/extra/best-days-march-2017 Look at “destroy pests and weeds.” In future, search this site (top left) for “best days” and the months appear.

We hope this helps!

My wish is that ya'll would

My wish is that ya'll would quit recommending toxic herbicides and bee killing pesticides and start recommending natural. VINEGAR will kill weeds. mild soap solution will kill most garden pests! And I say WHO cares if you lawn has a few weeds, you're going to mow them down!! Save the bees!

hi! i was wondering what the

hi! i was wondering what the vinegar ratio is for weed killer.thanks alot.

If i planted broccoli,

If i planted broccoli, cabbage, brusselsprout,seed 1st of march, will they live.?

Hi, Peggy, It depends where

The Editors's picture

Hi, Peggy, It depends where you live. See our Planting Table for your zip code here: http://www.almanac.com/gardeni...

When is the time to cut wild

When is the time to cut wild onions to eliminate them?

If you're looking for the

The Editors's picture

If you're looking for the "best days" by the Moon, then the best times to kill weeds are when the Moon's sign is in Aries, Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius, or Aquarius.
If you need it, you can find the Moon's Place in the Astrological Zodiac calendar in the print Almanac. You can pick up a copy in your local bookstore or find it at www.almanac.com/store .

There are no pre-emergent

The Editors's picture

There are no pre-emergent controls for wild onion, but there are herbicides that will work during the growing season. If you wish to go this route, check with a garden center for the proper material for your area and your grass variety. Mowing wild onions will weaken them but not get rid of them because they grow from tiny bulbs which will re-sprout. You can nip the problem in the bud by digging out the clumps carefully in early spring as they appear, making sure that all the baby bulbs on the sides come up as well. The diminutive onions thrive in heavy, wet soils, so aeration and holding back water may help. If you keep after them for a couple of seasons you will win the battle. We hope that you don’t shed too many tears over your problem!

Answer for when to now wild

Answer for when to now wild onions to kill them

Wild onion

In response to the wild onion invading your lawn. Pull them out bulb and all and cook them like the old timers. Or invite an old timer to come get them . Tender young speouts are much sought after and are the hilite of wild onion get togethers and fund raising dinners

trying to find the right

trying to find the right dirrection to set up my garden this year...?