'March' comes from the Roman 'Martius'. This was originally the first
month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the god of war.
March was the beginning of our calendar year. We changed to the 'New Style' or 'Gregorian calendar in 1752, and it is only since then when we the year began on 1st January.
The Anglo-Saxons called the month Hlyd monath which means Stormy month, or Hraed monath which means Rugged month.
Lent the traditional games played are marbles and skipping. The games
were stopped on the stroke of twelve noon on Good Friday, which in
some places was called Marble Day or Long Rope Day.
game of marbles has been played for hundreds of years and some historians
say that it might have been started by rolling eggs. In the past, round
stones, hazelnuts, round balls of baked clay and even cherry stones
have been used.
should fall on Lady Day (March 25) then some disaster will shortly
my Lord falls in my Lady's lap,
England beware of some mishap.'
The last three days of March were said to be borrowed from April.
|‘March said to April,
|I see 3 hoggs (hoggets, sheep) upon a hill;
|And if you’ll lend me dayes 3
|I’ll find a way to make them dee (die).
|The first o’ them wus wind and weet,
|The second o’ them wus snaw and sleet,
|The third o’ them wus sic a freeze
|It froze the birds’ nebs (noses) to the trees.
|When the 3 days were past and gane
|The 3 silly hoggs came hirpling (limping) hame.”
The Tichborne Dole is one of the eccentric British traditions and dates
back to the thirteenth century. It takes place in the village of Tichborne near Alresford in Hampshire every year on March 25th the Feast of the Annunciation (Lady’s Day).
eight hundred years ago, there lived a kind and generous women called
Lady Maybela. It was custom in those days that if the woman had a lot
of money, it all belonged to her husband from the day of their marriage.
So, although Lady Maybela had been very rich, she had to ask her husband,
Sir Roger de Tichborne, for anything she wanted.
was not the nicest of all people. Lady Maybela had to beg for everything she needed.
Most of things she had she gave to the poor.
When she was very ill and
dying, she asked her husband if he would still be kind to the poor
people after she was dead. She wanted him to give bread to the poor
once a year. Sir Roger wasn't very happy about this, for he would have
to give up some of the flour that he made from the wheat he grew and
he didn't like to give anything away for nothing!
Now, remember that
Lady Maybela was very ill! Sir Roger took a burning log from the fire. He told his wife
that however much of his land she could get round
before the flames from the log went out, he would set aside for the
growing of wheat and this wheat would be made into flour for the poor.
Maybela called to her maids
and they lifted her from her bed into the grounds outside.
knows that March is a very windy month,
but as Sir Roger carried the burning log outside to watch Lady
Maybela, the winds dropped and the flames from the log burned
brightly with an unflickering flame. Lady
Maybela tried to stand up but she was too weak, so she began to
crawl on her hands and knees. As she disappeared in the distance, the
servants held their breath and watched the flames on the log. Sir Roger
was getting more and more angry as he saw how far his wife was crawling
- he thought he had set her an impossible task. He saw Lady
Maybela turn and start to cross
across the land - then, still crawling, she turned again, this time to
crawl down back to the house. All the time the flame burned brightly.
Maybela was nearing the house,
the log was nearly all burned out, and when at last she reached the place
where she had started, the flame suddenly went out. She had crawled over
an area of twenty-three acres! These same twenty-three acres are, even today,
still known as the 'Crawls'.
Lady Maybela died she made
Sir Roger promise to give all the flour grown on the 'Crawls' to the
poor every 25th March, and just to make sure he kept his promise, she
put a curse on the Tichborne family and house. The curse said that
anyone in the family not giving flour to the poor on 25th March would
find that their house would collapse, their money would be lost and
seven sons would be born followed by seven daughters and the name Tichborne
would die out.
The flour was given every
year until 1796, when Sir Henry Tichborne gave money to the church
instead of flour to the poor. He had
seven sons, his eldest son had seven daughters and half the family fell
down, so a very worried son of Sir Henry, a Sir Edward Doughty-Tichborne,
started up the custom again - and things have been all right ever since.
Story as re-told by Toni
Arthur in her book 'All the Year Round'
the flowers most associated with March is the narcissus (Wild daffodil).
Named after the boy in Greek mythology, who was changed into a flower.
is also known as Lent Lily because it blooms in early spring and the
blooms usually dropping before Easter. It is the main daffodil species
The daffodil became a
popular Welsh symbol in the 19th Century. Lloyd George used it to symbolise
Wales at the 1911 Investiture
and in official publications.
inspired amongst others William Wordsworth to write his famous poem "Daffodils."
lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
most months, March weather lore has many old sayings to guide us:
March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb.'
dry March and a wet May
Fill barns and bays with corn and hay.'
it rains in March so it rains in June.'
winds and April showers
Bring forth May flowers.'
St David's Day - Patron Saint of Wales
Piran's Day Cornwall
All over Cornwall celebrations are staged for St Piran's Day.
Mothers Day / Mothering Sunday (3 weeks before Easter) 2009
The fourth Sunday in Lent (3 weeks before Easter) when Simnel cakes are eaten.
Patrick's Day - Patron Saint of Ireland
Palm Sunday 2010
This special day marks the beginning of Holy Week when we remember Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem and the waving of palm branches. Read more here
Oranges and Lemons.
In the days when the River Thames at London was wider than it is now,
barges carrying oranges and lemons landed just below the churchyard
of St. Clements Dane. On the last day of March, local primary school
children gather at the church to attend a service. They recite the
famous nursery ' rhyme and, on occasions, play the tune on hand bells.
At the end of the service, the children are presented with an orange
and a lemon from a table outside the church .
' rhyme, which begins with the lines:
'Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of St Clement's'
- Alexander Bell, inventor of the telephone was born in 1847
- This date was the 'Ides of March' in the Roman calendar. This meant
it was the day on which the month was divided into two equal parts.
Julius Caesar was murdered on this date in 44 BC.
18th - 30 mile
an hour speed limit imposed on built up areas in 1935
English football league formed in 1888
1891 goal nets were used for the first time in English football.
- Heathrow Airport Opened in 1948
- Anniversary of the first daily weather forecast.
29th - Coca-Cola
was introduced on this date in 1886.
- The Eiffel Tower in Paris was officially opened in 1889
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