Top 5 Surprising Things About The Month of March

March 5, 2019
Top 5 Surprising Things About The Month of March

Top 5 Surprising Things About The Month of March

We made it to March!  And it’s not going to be all about Easter candy and Cinco De Mayo—promise!  I did a little research and came up with some things about St. Patty’s month you might not have known. Feel free to splash these facts around the water cooler and be richly admired for your intellect.

5 Surprising Things About The Month of March

5.  What’s the deal with The Ides of March, anyway, and what does it have to do with cats? Well, on the Roman calendar, the midpoint of every month was known as the Ides. The Ides of March fell on March 15th. This day was supposed to coincide with the first full moon of the year and marked by religious ceremonies, but thanks to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar we know it for another reason. Supposedly, in 44 BC, a seer told Julius Caesar that his downfall would come no later than the Ides of March. Caesar ignored him, and when the fated day rolled around he joked with the seer, “The Ides of March have come.” The seer replied, “Aye, Caesar; but not gone.” Caesar continued on to a senate meeting at the Theatre of Pompeii, and was promptly murdered by nearly 60 conspirators. Ironically, the exact spot where Caesar was assassinated is protected in today’s Rome as a no-kill cat sanctuary. So there’s some progress for you. 

5 Surprising Things About The Month of March

4. March was named for war—and it lives up to its name.

So, if so many months were named for their Latin numbers, why wasn’t March called… unumber? First, because that sounds cray, and secondly, because the Gods had dibs on it. March was actually named for the Latin Martius—aka Mars, the Roman God of war and a mythical ancestor of the Roman people via his wolf-suckling sons, Romulus and Remus.  With the winter snows melting and the ground becoming fertile for harvest again, March was the perfect month for farmers to resume farming, and for warriors to get back to their warring ways.

By the way, the Pentagon still seems to agree with this Roman tradition: except for the recent War on Afghanistan, almost all major US-NATO led military operations since the invasion of Vietnam have begun in the month of March.  Vietnam (initiated March 8, 1965), Iraq (March 20, 2003), and Libya (March 19, 2011) all follow the trend.

5 Surprising Things About The Month of March

3. March Madness is a cherished time to bond with your couch, especially early on in the tournaments when dozens of games unfold consecutively. In other words, it’s the perfect week to recover from a vasectomy!

The Cleveland Clinic reports the number of vasectomies surges by about 50 percent during the first week of March Madness. Why? Patients typically need “at least a day with ice” to keep swelling down, says urologist Stephen Jones, MD, “So if they’re going to spend a whole day doing nothing, they might as well be on the couch with the ice bag in one hand and their brackets in the other.”

Some clinics even offer incentives, like the Cape Cod urologists who offered a free pizza with every vasectomy in March 2012. That deal’s pretty good no matter which way you slice it.  (Sorry...couldn’t resist.)

5 Surprising Things About The Month of March

2. This year March Madness runs from March 11th to April 2nd, and you better believe people are betting on it. But maybe the safest bet you can make is that lots and lots of people will be hopelessly distracted. One number-crunching firm predicted last year that U.S. companies would lose $1.9 billion in wages paid to unproductive workers spending company time on betting pool priorities. Suffice it to say, March is not a productive month for business, unless maybe you’re employed by the NBA or a gambling enterprise.

March

1. March is the third month of the year, right? Well, not exactly.  If you were born before 150 B.C. it was the first month of the year, and you’d be tooting little paper horns and kissing strangers under the confetti on March 1st.  (Back in the days of leather leg sandals, there were only 10 months in the year—beginning in March and ending in December. Can you imagine gearing up for the holidays two months earlier every year…just. noooo!!) 

You can still see a bit of this old system in today’s calendar.  Because December was the tenth month, it was named for the number ten in Latin (decem);  and September was named for seven (septem). So, what about January and February? They were just two frozen unnamed months called “winter,” showing that winter is just so awful it doesn’t even deserve a spot on the calendar—even the ancient one,

And now you know.  So, MARCH FORTH in this month of war, vasectomies and brackets with your new-found knowledge, and may the Ides of March be kinder to you than they were to poor Julius Caesar.  (Oh—and if you want to rescue a kitty from a no-kill shelter, this would be the perfect month to do it!)