Holidays and happenings on your March calendar

Published 5:39 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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Every month can be considered a “busy” month in some way. Your calendar could be filled with work meetings or personal plans. Or maybe the calendar is filled with various holidays and other events we recognize throughout the year.

March isn’t particularly special compared to other months, but it still has its share of events this year. As I was looking at my calendar recently, there were even a few I’d forgotten about.

Did you know that March is celebrated as Women’s History Month? The national commemoration of women’s achievements and contributions to society got its start in 1981 as a request from Congress. It was only a week at first, but expanded over the years to encompass the whole month.

Several government entities play a role in the month’s events, including the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Together, they encourage “the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.”

If you have some time this month, check out for links to various resources featuring some amazing women.

March is also one of two months each year when we have to adjust our clocks. Daylight Saving Time begins in the early hours of Sunday, March 10. (Does anyone else feel like we just changed the clocks a week ago? I guess time flies when it gets dark before 5 p.m., right??)

This springtime Daylight Saving shift, unfortunately, means we’ll lose a precious hour of sleep that night. But on the bright side (pun intended), we’ll have a little more sunshine after supper as the daylight hours continue to get longer.

There is always chatter every year of getting rid of Daylight Saving Time altogether, but so far, only a few states have tried leaving their clocks alone – and North Carolina isn’t one of those states. So we’ll have to continue to deal with adjusting our sleep schedules twice a year for the foreseeable future. Good luck!

While there are a lot of nice days in March, there’s one that’s a little more… ominous. Remember the phrase “beware the Ides of March”? It was on that day in 44 B.C. that Julius Caesar was assassinated by his fellow politicians, some of whom he called friends.

Allegedly, Caesar was warned by a “seer” that the Ides of March would bring him misfortune, but he didn’t heed the warning. William Shakespeare even included that bit in his play about Julius Caesar, albeit a bit more dramatically.

But what is the Ides of March anyway?

“Ides” was a term used in the Roman calendar, usually falling within the middle of the month – the 15th specifically for March. The Romans also used to associate a variety of religious observances on the Ides.

But after Caesar was betrayed and murdered, the previous religious festivals and rituals were all but tossed to the wayside. And now, people only remember the day as an inauspicious one. (Caesar’s death, after all, was just one more domino in the fall of the Roman Empire.)

Maybe we ought to watch our back on March 15!

But if we make it through the Ides of March with no troubles, then we’ll be ready for a fun celebration just two days later. St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17, a day when we celebrate by wearing green and drinking alcohol… and that’s pretty much it around here.

The holiday is meant to commemorate the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death in the fifth century. Saint Patrick was considered the patron saint of Ireland after helping to bring Christianity to the country. A couple centuries later, people in the country celebrated the day as a Roman Catholic feast, but it eventually grew in America thanks to Irish immigrants who wanted to celebrate their culture.

One interesting thing I read about St. Patrick himself is that there’s a legend which says he banished snakes from Ireland. As the story goes, St. Patrick delivered a sermon on a hillside which drove all the island’s snakes into the sea. In reality, the climate probably was never suited for snakes anyway. Nevertheless, it’s a fun story to think about! (I wish someone would banish snakes in the general vicinity of my house, so I’d never have to worry about them.)

The spring season officially begins on March 19 this year, the date of the vernal equinox. That’s a fancy way of saying the Northern and Southern hemispheres receive roughly equal amounts of sunlight. Usually, one hemisphere is tilted a little closer or a little farther away from the Sun.

Of course, it already feels like spring has arrived because I’ve been seeing flowers – especially daffodils – blooming just about everywhere I go.

I welcome more beautiful flowers as the weather keeps getting nicer, though I’m not looking forward to the pollen that comes with it.

And finally, March this year wraps up with Easter on the 31st. The holiday falls on different days annually, so it’s not always a regular in the lineup of March events. When the last day of the month arrives, many people will dress up in their Sunday best to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. And then, many will visit family members for a nice meal (and perhaps, for the younger children, some fun Easter egg hunts.)

I have plenty of fond memories as a kid running around in my grandma’s backyard, chasing my cousins as we tried to find all the hidden colorful plastic Easter eggs. I don’t know if we ever found all of them, but it sure was a good time.

These are just a few things happening in March throughout the whole United States. But, of course, we have plenty of non-holiday events going on right here locally all the time! Check them out in the community calendar section of your newspaper (on page 2A of the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald and on the front page sidebar of the Gates County Index).

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or 252-332-7206.