It’s time for another edition of the holidays. March is the focus and since Ash Wednesday was a little early and Easter is still in April, the holidays are a little light this year for the month. Here goes!
March – original start of the new year and the time to resume wars. Latin Martius or Mars, the Roman god of war.
March 8 – Purim. Jewish holiday celebrating the survival of the Jews living in Persia. Celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, which usually falls in March. Esther went to live in the harem of Ahasuerus, the King of Persia. Mordecai, Esther’s guardian, advised her to keep her religion a secret. Ahaseurus loved her more than the others and made her his queen. Haman, an advisor to the king, hated Mordecai and advised the king to rid Persia of the Jews. Mordecai convinced Esther to reveal herself to Ahasuerus and reveal Haman’s plot to exterminate the Jews. The plot was foiled and is now Purim is one of the most joyous Jewish holidays. “The word “Purim” means “lots” and refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for the massacre.” Judaism 101
March 17 -St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrates the day of the patron saint of Ireland’s death in the Fifth Century. Celebrated in Ireland as a religious holiday. Though it occurs during lent, the prohibitions against eating meat are lifted for that day. St. Patrick used to use the three leaf shamrock to help describe the holy trinity. He is credited with driving the snakes from Ireland. This may be a symbolic reference to bring Christianity to the pagans, therefore helping drive out the serpent symbols used in pagan religions. Traditional celebrations were meant to be a spiritual renewal. The holiday emigrated with the Irish transplanted to America.
March 20 – Vernal Equinox. The First Day of Spring. The length of day and night are equal. Holiday also known as Ostara, named for the goddess of spring. Pagan holiday celebrated rebirth. Baby animals, new flowers, the emerging leaves and grass from winter dormancy. Eggs are used to symbolize fertility-birth-of spring. As are rabbits/hares. Rabbits are notorious for prolific procreation and spring is known to be the time when most of nature’s newest members make their appearance. Could be this was another tradition/holiday adopted by the Christians in order to make the transition easier. Would explain why the resurrection of Christ during Easter is celebrated with a visit by the Easter bunny and hiding Easter eggs.
Like I said, a light month. But April will more than make up for it. As usual, if you know of another celebration, please feel free to add it to the comments!
Have a great month!