5 Reasons to Celebrate March this year!
March marks the beginning of spring.
Preparations for both summer and Easter are underway.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that the temperature won’t drop to near freezing point again, but winter is certainly on its way out at last!
On the 1st of March everyone wishes friends, colleagues and family a happy month; Greeks tend to wish one another for everything – happy month, happy week, happy workday, happy Sunday, etc.
Another great favorite traditions is giving each other a March Bracelet – a marti.
It’s supposed to keep you from getting sun burnt from the very hot son of March. March is said to have either extreme cold spells or scorching hot days, just out of the blue.
This year, we also have … Tsiknopempti – Smokey Thursday in March.
It falls on the 4th this year.
It’s meat-lovers’ day!
Every home normally has a barbeque on this day.
Restaurants and taverns are usually packed and getting a table is quite a challenge. Sadly, no people will be dining out in 2021 due to Covid-19 lockdown.
What is ‘Smokey Thursday’ all about?
Well, it’s an eat-as-much-meat-as-you-can day since it’s the last week before fasting begins for Easter.
Stand outside and the air is filled with … smoke and the smell of fat burning.
Ash Monday – Green Monday – Clean Monday!
Call it what you may. It’s the first day of the fasting period and this falls on the 15th of March this year. Everyone drives out to the countryside to enjoy a meatless picnic with seafood and vegetable dishes.
Everyone celebrates and the kids enjoy flying their kites as high as they can possible go.
The higher it goes, the better the year will be according to popular tradition.
On the 25th of March, it’s Independence Day.
Quite an eventful month I have to say! Normally, a huge parade would have been held with celebrations commemorating Greece’s independence from Turkey; Greece had been under Ottoman rule for 400 years.
This day also coincides with the religious celebration of the Good News the angel of God brought to the Virgin Mary – our Lord’s mother and our Heavenly Mother too. The angel announced to her that she was to bear the Son of God – Jesus. It’s called Evangelismos (meaning: the announcement of good news).
Once again, due to the pandemic, everything has been put in the ‘freezer’ this year. No parades, no parties celebrating namedays; Greeks celebrate namedays more than they do birthdays.
Hopefully, with the coming of spring and summer, the virus will weaken and allow us all to carry on with our lives in a natural way; with physical contact, parties, travelling and have us out of this … isolation.
Till then, we can all dream and plan an amazing post-Covid period. As the great poet once said, “this too shall pass”.