Word of the Week: March

March is a noun and defined as the third month of the Gregorian calendar. First used before the 13th century, March is one of the many words in the English language that has its roots in Latin.

The word March comes from the Roman god of war, Mars. In the earliest Roman calendar, March was named the first month of the year because that’s when military activity and warfare resumed after the long winter. Other historical names for March include Lentmonat, which gave rise to the name of the Christian holiday Lent, and Rhed-monat, which derives from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Rheda. 

Today, the most widely used calendar is the Gregorian calendar. Introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582, the Gregorian calendar can be traced back to the Roman calendar, which consisted of 10 months and a dead period during winter. The original 10 months were Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. In March, the military resumed activity, festivals began, and the new year was celebrated. In 713 BC, the months January and February were added to fill in the unorganized winter period, and in 450 BC January replaced March as the first month of the calendar year. Although March was moved to the 3rd month of the year around 450 BC, Great Britain and its colonies continued to start their year in March until they adopted the Gregorian calendar in the 1700s. 

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Sources
“March.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary
https://www.almanac.com/content/how-did-months-get-their-names
https://blog.britishmuseum.org/whats-in-a-name-months-of-the-year/

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