Friday, 1 March 2013

Beware the Ides of March

St David's Day, 1 March. What better way to celebrate St David's Day, than watching a re-run of the Welsh getting comprehensibly get stuffed at rugby by the Irish 22-30. Saint David was recognised as a national patron saint at the height of Welsh resistance to the Normans. Saint David's Day was celebrated by Welsh  from the late Middle Ages.

17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys noted how Welsh celebrations in London for Saint David's Day would spark wider counter celebrations amongst their English neighbours. When life-sized effigies of Welshmen were symbolically lynched, and by the 18th century the custom had arisen of confectioners producing "taffies" or gingerbread figures baked in the shape of a Welshman riding a goat. In turn sparking the rhyme "Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief; Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef; I went to Taffy's house, Taffy wasn't home; Taffy came to my house and stole a marrow-bone"

International Womens Day 8th March. Some would have you believe its women's day every day!

Mother's Day, 10 March. A time for mothers everywhere to treat this day like all others and just get on with it. It has been revealed that rising numbers of women are turning to DIY and skilled trades amid the recession. They are enrolling on training courses to learn crafts such as plastering, decorating, plumbing and tiling. Some want to save money by improving their own homes while others are setting up their own businesses after being made redundant or opting for career changes. DIY workshops across the country organised by B&Q have experienced a five-fold increase in female take up in the last year. Over 3,200 enrolled in classes to learn skills such as plastering, wall tiling, changing taps and hanging wallpaper in July 2012 compared to 592 at the same point last year. There was a 92 per cent increase between January and July this year alone - up from 1,698. A B&Q spokeswoman said: 'Whether it's to save money, avoid being ripped off or to just increase confidence around the home, women are skilling up.'

Commonwealth Day 14th March. People use the day to promote understanding about global issues, international co-operation and the work of the modern Commonwealth. Each year there is a different theme. While it has a certain official status, Commonwealth Day is not a public holiday in most Commonwealth countries and there is little public awareness of it. Empire Day was instituted in the United Kingdom in 1904 by Lord Meath, and extended throughout the countries of the Commonwealth. This day was celebrated by lighting fireworks in back gardens or attending community bonfires. It gave the Queen's people a chance to show their pride in being part of the British Empire. In 1958 Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day, in accordance with the new post-colonial relationship between the nations of the former empire.

Ides of March Day, 15th March. The Ides of March is the first day of the Roman New Year.It also marks the first day of spring in the Roman calendar. The term "Ides of March" (middle day of March) is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed 23 times (which rules out accidental death) to death in the Roman Senate. By a group of former friends led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. A seer is reputed to have foreseen that Caesar would be murdered before the Ides of March, which little snippet of info was reported to Caesar. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, Caesar met the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come", meaning that the prophecy had not been fulfilled. The seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone."

St Patrick's Day, 17 March. A day for everyone with the slightest bit of Irish blood to go out and drink copious amounts of alcohol. What better way to celebrate St Patricks Day, than watching a re-run of the Welsh getting stuffed at rugby by the Irish 22-30.

International Earth Day, 20th March. International Earth Day was initiated to make earth inhabitants aware of their responsibility to care for the planet. This care includes environmental and natural resources. The name and concept of Earth Day was pioneered by John McConnell at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. He proposed the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. 

Vernal  Equinox 21st March.The start of Spring and when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are nearly equal in all parts of the world. An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the centre of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, night and day are about equal length.

Good Friday 29th MarchGood Friday is the Friday before Easter, which is calculated differently in Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the Full Moon, the full moon on or after 21 March, taken to be the date of the vernal equinox. The Western calculation uses the Gregorian calendar.

British Summer Time 31st March. The British Summer Time begins. During British Summer Time (BST), civil time in the United Kingdom is advanced one hour forward of Greenwich Mean Time, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. The practice was popular following its introduction in 1916, although it now divides opinion. BST begins at 1:00 AM GMT on the last Sunday of March and ends at 1:00 AM GMT on the last Sunday of October. In 2013 it will begin on 31 March and end on 27 October.

British Summer Time was first established by the Summer Time Act 1916, after a campaign by builder William Willett. His original proposal was to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in 20-minute weekly steps on Sunday in April and by the reverse procedure in September. At this time BST began on 21 May and ended on 1 October.

Easter Sunday 31st MarchEaster Sunday in the United Kingdom is traditionally about  resurrection from death, according to Christian belief. However, many people use the day to decorate Easter eggs, share chocolate eggs and participate in Easter egg competitions. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. It is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox.

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