March 1 is an important day – not only are you required to say “White Rabbits” before you speak to anyone else on the day, to ensure good luck for the rest of the year, but March 1 was also the original start of the year in the Roman calendar.
It is not known when the New Year was changed to January 1 in the Roman Empire – the Julian calendar was reformed by Julius Caesar in 46BC and this is when the change might have taken place. It is believed January was chosen because the god Janus looks both ways – ie at the old year passing and the new year approaching.
March 1 is also St David’s Day – St David resisted the Norman invasion of the lands that form Wales and was a considered a saint as a result.
As for white rabbits, the origins of this are varied – some people say it should be said at the start of every month with an R in the name; others at the start of every month for good luck. It would seem to be a throwback to the old Roman calendar – or maybe because March is when rabbits start popping their heads up out of their burrows after winter.
March 1 is also the start of spring for meteorologists – even though the weather might not agree!
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Adult content, dark humour and themes which some may find upsetting.
Featured image: Borghese Gardens in March
Images copyright A. Meredith