March  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

March is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is one of the seven months which are 31 days long.

September in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of March in the Northern Hemisphere.

In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological spring is 1 March. In the Southern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological autumn is 1st March.

March starts on the same day of the week as November every year and February in common years only. March ends on the same day of the week as June every year. In leap years, March starts on the same day as September and December of the previous year. In common years, March starts on the same day as June of the previous year.

The name of March comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and named Martius after Mars or Ares, the Greek god of war. In Rome, where the climate is Mediterranean, March was the first month of spring, a logical point for the beginning of the year as well as the start of the military campaign season. January became the first month of the calendar year either under King Numa Pompilius (c. 713 BC) or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ). The numbered year began on March 1 in Russia until the end of the 15th century. Great Britain and its colonies continued to use March 25 until 1752, which was when they ultimately adopted the Gregorian calendar. Many other cultures and religions still celebrate the beginning of the New Year in March.

In Finnish, the month is called maaliskuu, which is believed to originate from maallinen kuu, meaning earthy month, because during maaliskuu, earth finally becomes visible under the snow (other etymological theories have however been put forward). In Ukrainian, the month is called березень, meaning birch tree. Historical names for March include the Saxon Lentmonat, named after the March equinox and gradual lengthening of days, and the eventual namesake of Lent. Saxons also called March Rhed-monat or Hreth-monath (deriving from their goddess Rhedam/Hreth), and Angles called it Hyld-monath. In Slovene, the traditional name is sušec, meaning the month when the earth becomes dry enough so that it is possible to cultivate it. The name was first written in 1466 in the Škofja Loka manuscript. Other names were used too, for example brezen and breznik, "the month of birches". The Turkish word Mart is given after the name of Mars the god.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "March" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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