Presently March 2021
With Spring officially onboard as of March 1st, it comes with a gentle spirit, warming up slowly with longer days and brighter skies. The flowers come, one by one with uplifting confidence. While snowdrops and crocuses carpet the ground, there is none so pretty that rises from the earth, standing up bright and commands the playfulness in nature than the narcissus.
March birth flower
March and we see the budding buds of the daffodils come to bloom, embodying Spring like none other. Affectionately known as March’s birth flower, the cheerful yellow daffodils represent rebirth and new beginnings as it is the first to bloom after the winter frost. Though these beautiful spring buds also come in white and orange, it is the yellow hues that brings much brightness and cheer to the gardens and parks.
Widely cultivated in Holland and in Britain, the daffodils has its origins in the Mediterranean where it was grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Known as Narcissus in Latin, the flower was named after a character in Greek mythology, the son of the river god who was celebrated for his beauty. It has been said that he loved himself too much and his arrogance led him to his own death where he fell into the river and drowned while staring at his own reflection. The flowers growing along the river were named after him. For this reason, daffodils are sometimes known to symbolise vanity.
In England, daffodils are also referred to as ‘Lent Lillies’ or ‘Lenten Lillies’. The term is adopted from a poem written by A.E. Housman because they typically bloom between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
Beyond representing rebirth, new beginnings and as a symbol of vanity, the March flower hold different meanings to different cultures as well. For the Chinese, the daffodils represent good luck and prosperity as they bloom around Chinese New Year. In Wales, daffodils are the national flower, representing faithfulness as it reblooms year after year. The cancer care society, Marie Curie uses daffodil as its symbol to represent hope for a cure. Above all, the daffodils are said to symbolise unequalled love, so giving this cheerful, bright flowers to someone would symbolise deep love that cannot be imitated.
What else about March in UK
While according to the meteorological calendar, spring will always start on March 1 and end on May 31, the astronomical calendar marks the first day of spring on March 20, the spring equinox. The spring equinox is also known as March equinox or vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. With the Northern Hemisphere welcoming spring, the Southern Hemisphere welcomes autumn.
Each year, Spring Equinox is celebrated at Stonehenge by the Druids and Pagans. They gather very early in the morning to see the sunrise above the stones. This moment is special because day and night are of equal length all over the world, hence the word “equinox” which means equal night.
The Spring Equinox celebration 2021 is cancelled as England is under a lockdown at the moment.
If you wish to visit Stonehenge, English Heritage will re-open its doors on April 12. Tickets are available to book. You could also take up an annual membership for £48.00 and have unlimited access to Stonehenge as well as to over 400 historic properties for great days out.
Read > Stonehenge – A sophisticated architecture which includes a complete guide on how to get to this remarkable wonder
UK – Notable dates and events in March
St Piran’s Day – March 5
St Piran’s Day is the national day of Cornwall, the southern most corner of mainland UK. St Piran is an Irish saint that came to Cornwall and discovered tin.
Legend has it that he sailed to Cornwall on a millstone that was actually tied around his neck when he was cast into the Atlantic sea by people who were jealous of his work miracles. He was thrown off the cliff but as he reached the sea, the sun came out and he was seen seated on the millstone, floating on the waters which took him safely across to Cornwall. He landed between Newquay and Perranporth at Perran Beach which bears his name. St Piran built himself a small chapel in Penhale sands. His first disciples? > a badger, a fox and a bear.
International Women’s Day > March 8
“This year’s International Women’s Day is a rallying cry for Generation Equality, to act for an equal future for all. The Generation Equality Forum, the most important convening for gender equality investment and actions, kicks off in Mexico City from 29 – 31 March, and culminates in Paris in June 2021. It will draw leaders, visionaries, and activists from around the world, safely on a virtual platform, to push for transformative and lasting change for generations to come” > UNWomen
Mother’s Day 2021 in UK is on March 14
Mother’s Day is a celebration of mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds. It is celebrated on various days across the world but in the UK it typically falls on the third Sunday before Easter. In 2021, Mothering Sunday in UK falls on March 14.
Simnel Sunday – March 14
Usually the third Sunday before Easter and it coincides with Mothering Sunday. On this day, Simnel cake is eaten. Simnel cake has its origins in medieval times and is a light fruitcake, similar to the one eaten at Christmas but this one is specially reserved for Lent. This cake comes with two layers of marzipan, one in the middle and the other on top. The cake is then topped with eleven marzipan balls to represent the eleven apostles of Christ (less one – Judas).
St Patrick’s Day 2021 – Wednesday 17 > Patron Saint of Ireland
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 each year. It is a celebration of Irish culture and religious holiday with events of parades, dances, music and special food celebrated globally by the Irish community. It commemorates the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
The story of St Patrick’s Day
Celebrated for over a century, the legend has it that Saint Patrick, born in Roman Britain was captured at the age of sixteen and enslaved in Ireland in the 4th century. He managed to escape, and later returning to Ireland, bringing Christianity to the Irish and converting a large number of the Irish people from paganism to Christianity. Following the death of Saint Patrick, the day has become an important part of Irish culture and not just for its Christian roots.
In London, St Patrick’s Day is one of the largest celebration and is a pinnacle event in London’s cultural calendar. In 2021, the celebration of St Patrick’s Day is a digital event – an evening of culture, conversation and community fun. It’s a free event and takes place between 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm. For more information, head over to London Events.
Lady Day > March 25
Lady Day or the Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Mary takes place on March 25 each year. The feast day commemorates when Virgin Mary was told by Angel Gabriel that she was to conceive Jesus. This day remained special and in 1155, March 25 was marked as the beginning of the New Year in England. To the Tudors, the holiday was called “Lady Day”. Lady Day was exactly nine months before December 25, the birth of Christ.
Lady Day was also the first of the four quarterly dates in English calendar. In order, these quarterly dates were, Lady Day on March 25, Midsummer Day on June 24, Michaelmas Day on September 29 and Christmas Day on December 25. On these dates, school terms would begin, servants would return to work and rents were due.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Lady Day was the start of the New Year in Tudor times. and as a result, the dates on the brass memorial of Thomas Boleyn which gives the date of his death as March 12 1538 is actually March 12 1539 because we take the year as starting from January 1.
The ‘new’ style calendar which begins on January 1 was changed in 1752.
Palm Sunday > March 28
Palm Sunday is a special day for Christians. It is the Sunday before Easter and marks the beginning of the Holy Week, remembering Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem and the waving of palm branches.
Oranges and Lemons > March 31
It is said that once upon a time when the River Thames in London was much wider than it is now, it allowed the swift flow of barges carrying oranges and lemons to dock just below the churchyard of St Clements Dane. On the last day in March, school children would gather at the church and recite a famous nursery rhyme while playing the tune on hand bells. At the end of the service, the children were presented with an orange and a lemon. The famous nursery rhyme begins > “Oranges and lemons; Say the bells of St Clement’s” You can read all about this nursery rhyme here.
Other stories, sayings and lores about March
> The word ‘March’ is said to originate from the Roman word ‘Martius’ which was the first month of the Roman calendar, named after Mars, the god of war.
> The Anglo-Saxons referred to March as Hlyd monath which meant Stormy month.
>The traditional games played throughout March are skipping and marbles. The games were stopped at twelve noon on Good Friday.
>The last three days of March borrowed from April:
” March said to April,
I see 3 hoggs (hoggets, sheep) upon a hill;
And if you’ll lend me dayes 3
I’ll find a way to make them dee (die).
The first o’ them wus wind and weet,
The second o’ them wus snaw and sleet,
The third o’ them wus sic a freeze
It froze the birds’ nebs (noses) to the trees.
When the 3 days were past and gane
The 3 silly hoggs came hirpling (limping) hame.”
>There are many weather lores about March and here are just three:
“When March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb”
“A dry March and a wet May, fill barns and bays with corn and hay”
“March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers”
> Popular Anniversaries in March
March 3 – Alexander Bell was born in 1847 – inventor of telephone.
March 15 – ‘Ides of March’ in the Roman calendar where the day on which the month was divided into two equal parts.
March 22 – English football league was formed in 1888
March 25 – Heathrow Airport opened in 1948
March 29th – Coca-cola was introduced in 1886
March 31 – Eiffel Tower in Paris was officially opened in 1889
With March well underway, I’d like to share with you a little of what went on in February since my last monthly column.
What went on in February…
I began the month with plans to write on past travels to Morocco, Dubai and Italy, but I realised that sometimes, the universe may set a different course for you. So, I set aside my plans for writing and focused on what came my way. One of the changes was the change of domain name from ‘my timeless footsteps’ to ‘timeless travel steps.’ Along with this change, comes also updates and edits to implement which is time consuming to say the least. I am ploughing through patiently.
In my February column, I mentioned that I remain hopeful that travel will be possible by autumn. Today, as I write this column, I continue to remain hopeful as more of us in the UK are receiving our vaccinations. I look forward to travelling even within our borders if not abroad by the end of the year.
February was also a month where a number of articles were published as ‘Easy Sunday Read’, continuing on with the History of Britain:
> Forgotten stories of 3 royal prisoners at Queen’s House in the Tower;
> Anne Boleyn The most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens;
>The Boleyn Family | Who were they and What happened to them after Anne’s death;
>Interesting books on the Boleyns | Recommended;
>The magnificent Hever Castle | Anne Boleyn’s Childhood home;
I hope to continue with Easy Sunday Read articles throughout the month of March.
Impressive Value for Money Travel Offers
With hopes of getting the pandemic under control, the travel sector has started to promote holidays again. Here are some of the latest offers for you to consider:
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I feel blessed as every day is a new day, a new beginning to endless opportunities and days of hope for better things to come. While March is a special month for me as it is my birthday month, it had also proved to be a little challenging on the health front but I am glad that all is well now. I look forward to sharing more travel stories and travel offers in the coming weeks.
That’s my roundup of news in Presently March 2021 at Timeless Travel Steps. What has presently been going on with you?
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