Friday, March 2, 2012

Still Life With Robin: March Already!

Photo by Ben Bore (Wikimedia Commons)
by Peggy Robin

This past Wednesday was Leap Day, a special date that occurs just once every four years. But the entire first week of March is one special date after another.

Let's start with today, March 2nd. It's Read Across America Day:, a national event celebrated annually since 1998. The chief activity of this day is to read aloud to your children -- or someone else's children, if you don't have young ones on hand. And if the kids are old enough to read, you can have them read a book to you. (March 2nd was chosen because it's Dr. Seuss's birthday.) If you can't find any small children to listen to you read, then feel free to celebrate Read Across America Day by reading a book for your own pleasure. (You need not read it aloud.) Kindles count when it comes to reading, and oh my, kids love to watch when you read to them on a eReader:

Now let me backtrack a day to March 1st. I'm sorry this column comes too late to mark St. David's Day, a/k/a Wales Day, but go ahead and make a note for next year, 364 days from now. You can compare St. David's Day to St. Patrick's Day if you substitute Wales for Ireland and leeks for shamrocks. Next time St. David's Day comes around, put a leek in your hatband (you do have a hat with a hatband, don't you?) and wear green and white. Everyone can be Welsh on St. David's Day. If you really want to get noticed, wear a red dragon, too. You can see what the Welsh dragon looks like here: It's also fun to greet people with a few phrases of Welsh, which you can pick up at

Now to fill out the remaining days of the week:

Saturday, March 3rd is is Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival, or Girl's Day in Japan: -- but there's no reason why girls in this country can't enjoy it as well. Decorate your house with a display of your favorite dolls today and show them off to visitors. Interested in knowing more? Read "The Art of the Japanese Doll,"

Sunday, March 4th is "March Forth." It's the day to go out and support whatever worthy cause or idea you find inspiring. If you need an explanation of the date, just say it aloud. For more information go to:

Monday, March 5th is St. Piran's Day, celebrating Cornwall and all things Cornish. St. Piran may not be as famous as St. Patrick or even St. David, but he has an awesome story, which I urge you to read at . He also has a very cool black and white flag. And he is said to have discovered tin. So wear black and white on St. Piran's Day and wear a badge made of tin. And be sure to tell anyone who asks you why you are dressed like a penguin and wearing a tin badge that you are celebrating St. Piran's Day.

Tuesday, March 6th is Super Tuesday, as you have doubtless heard, unless you have been living in a complete media vacuum. If you are sick of politics, you may prefer to observe Pulaski Day, honoring the Revolutionary War hero, Count Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman who died leading American troops in the Battle of Savannah in 1779. This day is officially observed in four states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Kentucky (all with sizable Polish-American populations). More about Pulaski Day at

Wednesday, March 7th is is World Math Day (or World Maths Day, as it's known in Britain where it was invented -- see It's not too late to register to compete, and you don't have to be a kid to enter. Celebrate with the classic, and ever fun book by Martin Gardner, "Entertaining Mathematical Puzzles,"

Although I suppose I ought to quit on the seventh day in March, I feel inclined to stretch the holiday list out to the eighth day --much the way week-long festivals are handled in the Jewish calendar-- and so will end this run of holidays on March 8th, International Women's Day, a UN designated observance
since 1975: .

Enjoy your holidays, everyone!


Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and All Life Is Local on Fridays.

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