The Ides of March
There is a saying, “Beware the Ides of March” but many probably don’t know what it means. When the Roman calendar, was in use the midpoint of each month was referred to as the Ides. The Ides of March came on the 15th and this date was marked with religious ceremonies and supposed to correlate with the first full moon of the year. The ides of March is also well known for something else. Thanks to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It’s been alleged that, in 44 BC, a seer gave Julius Caesar a prophesy that he ignored. The ruler was told that his downfall would come no later than the Ides of March. Caesar ignored the prophetic word and when mid-March came he said to the seer, “The Ides of March have come.” The prophet replied, “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.” The stubborn Caesar attended a senate meeting which took place at the Theatre of Pompey. He was murdered that very day by as many as 60 conspirators. The spot in Rome where Julius Caesar was assassinated has been designated as a no-kill cat sanctuary. How ironic is that? The soothsayer was only in Shakespeare's play but Ceasar did die at the hands of conspirators on March 15th.
In like a lion and out like a lamb
You may have heard the saying in days gone by that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. When I was a child I also heard that if March came I’m like a lamb it went out like a lion. Older generations believed that if the month came it one way it was destined to go out in the opposite manner. If March began with howling winds and cold temperatures it was said to be roaring like a lion. When the month came in with warm calm weather it was said to be mild as a lamb. Truthfully there have been years where the entire month of March was brutal and also years where temperature and weather were calm the entire 31 days. Some people believe the lion and lamb references are related to the Bible. Revelation 5:5 says that Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah. John 1:29 refers to Christ as the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Mad March Hare and March Madness
The month of March was named for Mars, the Roman god of war. The zodiac signs of Pisces and Aries both fall in the third month.
There are numerous adages, sayings, idioms, expressions, quotes, and weather proverbs, that apply to March and these traditional springtime sayings have rich cultural heritage related to their meaning,
The expression, "March Madness," was first used by Henry V. Porter, in 1939. He was a high school basketball coach in Illinois and the saying was coined to describe the excitement surrounding the Illinois state boys basketball tournament, Today, the term is used by sports promoters and fans, especially for the NCAA basketball tournament which is televised every year in mid-March, Television commercials and promotions for retail merchants advertising sales in March often use the term, "March Madness." Mad March hare comes from the Lewis Carol classic, Alice in Wonderland, The March Hare and Mad Hatter we’re in attendance at a bizarre year party. Sometimes it may be said of someone that they are as mad as a March hare or as kooky as the Mad Hatter.
There is a saying that goes "March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”This is an English proverb, that often is shortened to "April showers bring May flowers." The Cherokee name for the full moon in March is "Windy Moon," which refers to the winds of March. When I was a child in the late 1960’s the March winds were notorious for being so strong you could hardly stand. This became the perfect time for flying kites but in recent years March has not been very windy until 2020. This year the wind is blowing and whistling in a way I have not heard since elementary school. It’s been cold but I am rather enjoying it.
According to the website Weatherdudes.com there is a scientific reason why the March winds are so strong. In March there is an increased atmospheric instability caused by the increasingly strong Sunshine heating the earth's surface. and Since warm air is lighter than cold air, it rises and causes strong gusty winds.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 09, 2020:
Insightful and informational! Interesting is the lion and lamb reference to Jesus in Revelation!
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on March 08, 2020:
Thank you so much Lorna. I appreciate you.
Lorna Lamon on March 08, 2020:
What an enjoyable read Cheryl. The March wind in Ireland is more like a gale force wind, so it's good to know why. I had heard of the other's, but you filled in the blanks. Weatherdudes.com is a very cool name for a website. Great article.