Fun Facts: March Celebrations

March is full of important dates and events. It is the first month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and the first month of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere*.

There is plenty to celebrate in the month of March, with a variety of festivals and events taking place around the world. Here are some of the most famous March celebrations that you can note down in your diary.

Blueberry pancakes
Some tasty looking blueberry pancakes.

Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday): Pancake Day is celebrated in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Originally a Christian tradition, the idea was to use up rich foods like eggs, milk, and sugar, before fasting* for the 40 days of Lent. Nowadays, most people just use it as an excuse to eat lots of pancakes. Some towns even have pancake races!

International Women’s Day: On March 8th every year, there is a global celebration of women called International Women’s Day. In some countries, such as Russia and China, it is even an official holiday. Celebrations can be personal, where you show love and respect for the women in your life, or there can be a more political and social focus.

Mardi Gras: Mardi Gras (meaning Fat Tuesday in English) takes place on the same day as Pancake Day. It has the same origin as Pancake Day, but extends beyond food. Mardi Gras is known for its carnival celebrations that take place across the world, most notably in Brazil (known as Carnival) and the United States. Colorful and creative costumes are common, and the day is a very joyous occasion. You can read more about carnival celebrations world wide in our blog post.

New Orleans Mardi Gras
Colorful Mardi Gras in New Orleans, USA.

St Patrick’s Day: Ireland’s most famous celebration, St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday on the 17th of March in honor of the country’s famous patron saint. The day usually involves public parades and festivals, the ‘wearing of the green’ (wearing a shamrock* on your clothing), and enjoying a few pints of Guinness. It is celebrated by Irish communities around the world, particularly in the United States where big parades are common.

Pasifika Festival: Held every March in Auckland, the Pasifika Festival is a celebration of the culture and heritage of the Pacific Islands. Islands including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Hawaii are all represented. Activities include unique performances, arts and crafts, bustling markets, traditional cuisine, and the general sharing of culture. Bright, colorful, and full of joy, the Pasifika Festival has a vibrant and friendly atmosphere that attracts thousands of people every year.

Glossary

*Hemisphere: A half of the earth, divided by the equator. The Northern Hemisphere consists of Europe, North America, Asia, and part of Africa. The Southern Hemisphere is made up of South America, part of Africa, and Oceania.

*fasting: to go without food or drink for long periods of time, often for religious reasons.

*shamrock: a clover - a small, green plant and a famous symbol of Ireland.

Images are courtesy of wikimedia commons.

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