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Danny's Reading - It's March

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And so it's March.

Here’s a cheerful fact about the month of March, just for you...

As months go, it’s a bit rubbish.

Let's face it - March definitely got the short end of the stick when whoever is responsible for this sort of thing was handing out memorable events and joyous occasions. I mean, January doesn't have much going for it, but at least it starts out with fuzzy memories of a brilliant party the night before, and is full of potential for a brand new year. February boasts hearts, declarations of love and expensive boxes of chocolates halfway through it. April starts off with practical jokes and general tomfoolery, and then, later, presents us with a roast lamb dinner and decorated chocolate eggs. May gives us a pole to dance around, and June smugly gives us the longest day of the year. Both May and June can also brag about the fact that, in common years and leap years, no other month of the year begins on the same day of the week as they do (although why this should be something to brag about is anybody’s guess). July is, on average, the warmest month of the year (or the coldest, depending on whether you have to look up or down to spot the equator), and August is... well... nothing much happens in August except summer, but if you look up the word in a dictionary, you'll find that it is also an adjective and that it means 'dignified and splendid', and I think you'll find that you can pretty much get away with anything with a name like that. And, it must be mentioned here, it’s not every month that can claim that it was given two extra days by Julius Caesar himself. Then we have September, which starts the academic year in many countries, and October, where people see fit to dress up as witches, zombies and vampires and have a bit of a laugh. November makes Americans give thanks and eat turkey, and then of course we have December for seasonal jollity before we start all over again...

And then we have March.

Nothing. Bracketed by the festivities of New Year and the amorousness of Valentine's day on one end, and a chocolate-flavoured Easter followed by three long balmy months of summer on the other, the sole purpose of March seems to be... well... to bridge the gap, sort of like a conjunction in a sentence – it has to be there, but it might as well not be, for all the meaning it adds to life. A barely-acknowledged period of time in which people either reminisce about the past, or look forward to the future. March is the plain girl at the party; the wallflower who is only addressed as a means to get to know her much better-looking best friend.

It was at this point, while mentally composing the above, that I hesitated and wondered if I was perhaps being too harsh about this poor month. After all, I'm no historian, and it is possible that March has hidden depths and amazing secrets that I'm not privy to. Could it be that I was simply projecting my mood (which, admittedly, has not been on its best behaviour of late) onto this innocent collection of thirty-one days? And with these thoughts in mind, I did what any responsible researcher would do, and googled the month of March...

Okay… so March was originally considered to be the first month of the year, according to the Georgian calendar, which used to lump January and February together into 'winter'. This was eventually changed by King Numa Pompilius at around 713 BC, who apparently thought that he could get away with this kind of nonsense simply because he was a king with an impressive-sounding surname.

So far, so what...

March gets its name from the Roman god of war, Mars.


Julius Caesar was murdered on the fifteenth of March, probably for giving August those two extra days.
Alexander Graham Bell was born in March. Hmm...

Heathrow Airport was opened in March, and so was the Eiffel tower. Coca-Cola was also introduced to the world in March.
Which I guess is super-exciting if you happen to want to fly to Paris via London and fancy a carbonated soft drink to alleviate the boredom of the flight.
And that’s pretty much it. Except...

Hang on a sec...






And so it's March.

Here's a cheerful fact about the month of March, just for you...

As months go, it's brilliant!

And now I'm off, because it's...uh...late and I'm tired. I guess I'll see you next month. Until then, have a fantastic Saint Patrick's Day!


By Danny, teacher at EC Malta English School