Of course, because of one particular holiday, some months seem far more memorable that others.
November comes to mind, with its day for food-and-football junkies, Thanksgiving, and the unofficial holiday for all you shop-till-you-drop folks, Black Friday. So does the granddaddy of all months, December, with all the tinsel and holiday flair of the Christmas season.
But, when it comes to which month packs a wallop of commemorative days, it’s really hard to beat the month that has finally arrived.
A couple of days ago, I finally tossed out an extra 2013 calendar I’d gotten in the mail. It had sat on the counter since mid-December, certainly evidence of my pack rat nature. I just hate to throw things out that I may use or give someone with a need.
But when it comes to calendars, I figure if I’m not using one by the beginning of March and no one has asked me if I have an extra so she can track the market or weight loss, it may be time to toss the old Gregorian time chart out.
Before doing so, I thumbed through it. I’ve always been intrigued by the extra information in items like telephone books and calendars, those extra pages that most people don’t even think about much less read. With calendars, there’s always an additional need to take a glance at the picture atop each month.
When I got to the last pages of the calendar, I saw a list of monthly birthstones and another for flowers of the month (I would dearly love to know who decides such things) and another list entitled “Holidays and Commemorative Days.”
As I ran my eyes down the list, I mentally enumerated the number of such days in each month, from January’s two (New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day) to July’s one (Independence Day) and on to December’s three (the first day of winter, Christmas and New Year’s Eve). The baseball fan in me has always been drawn to numbers, I guess.
When I finished, I realized no month has more supposedly special days than March’s seven.
Of course, the first one is just a few days away: March 10. Hallelujah, all of us light-deprived folks can celebrate Daylight Saving Time at 2 am.
The event always makes me feel the worst of winter is behind us for another year. The whole idea of clock manipulation you can either credit or discredit to Benjamin Franklin. It never ceases to amaze me how many institutions and customs are attributable to the man appropriately known by the epithet The First American.
Of course, March 17 is that annual bacchanalian holiday where just about everyone wants to be Irish and hoist a few. No doubt, on that Sunday, as I do every March 17, my thoughts will turn for a bit to that St. Patty’s Day I spent in 2010 watching a wonderfully authentic parade with more rows of bagpipers than I could count in Kilkenny, Ireland, a two-day stopover on my first trip to the Emerald Isle.
Next on March’s list of special days is (sound the horn) the first day of spring, determined by that good old vernal equinox. Funny how some tend to place so many emphases on whether furry little creatures like Punxsutawney Phil and our own Buckeye Chuck see their shadows on Ground Hog Day when the date March 20 is inviolate when it comes to when spring arrives each year.
The last four of March’s commemorative days are all religious in nature: Palm Sunday on March 24, Passover on March 26, Good Friday on March 29, and Easter Sunday on March 31. From my Catholic point of view, the homestretch of Lent is always cause for celebration.
There you have it, folks, a rundown of our most important month, at least in the eyes of the calendar makers. So, you’ve got the rest of the month to be proud of March and also to plan for April’s two commemorative days: April 1, when we give a tip of the hat to all of our fools, and April 26’s Arbor Day, when we give a nod of appreciation to what many of us curse in the fall, our trees.