March (pronunciation) (help·info) is the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, and one of the seven months which are 31 days long.
March in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of September in the Northern Hemisphere.
The name of March comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and named Martius after Mars, the Roman god of war. In Rome, where the climate is Mediterranean, March is the first month of spring, a logical point for the beginning of the year as well as the start of the military campaign season. January became the first month of the calendar year either under King Numa Pompilius (circa 713 BCE) or under the Decemvirs about 450 BCE (Roman writers differ).The numbered year began on March 1 in Russia until the end of the fifteenth century. Great Britain and her colonies continued to use March 25 until 1752, which was when they ultimately adopted the Gregorian calendar. Many other cultures and religions still celebrate the beginning of the New Year in March.
In Finnish, the month is called maaliskuu, which originates from maallinen kuu, meaning earthy month, because during maaliskuu, earth finally became visible under the snow. In Ukrainian, the month is called березень, meaning birch tree. Historical names for March include the Saxon Lentmonat, named after the equinox and gradual lengthening of days, and the eventual namesake of Lent. Saxons also called March Rhed-monat or Hreth-monath (deriving from their goddess Rhedam/Hreth), and Angles called it Hyld-monath.
March starts on the same day of the week as November every year and February in common years only.