35 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in March

shmac84/iStock via Getty Images
shmac84/iStock via Getty Images

If you're into cute animals, delicious food, alien abductions, and/or a lack of typos, March is the month for you. Here are 25 offbeat holidays that celebrate a wide variety of quirky passions.

1. March 1: National Pig Day

Adorable baby piglet looks right at the camera
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Sure they like to roll around in mud, but that's just a pig's clever way of keeping cool on a hot day. Pigs are fascinating creatures—and one of the most intelligent members of the animal kingdom. Spend the first day of the month paying tribute to oinkers around the world.

2. March 1: National Peanut Butter Lover's Day

If you love peanut butter, this is the day to proudly polish off your PB-based sandwich of choice. Reflect on all of the amazing qualities of peanut butter, from its delicious taste to its amazingly effective gum-removing capabilities. If that’s not enough, there’s even a year-round website for lovers of the legume-based spread.

3. March 1: Peace Corps Day

A volunteer army intended to combat the evils of Cold War communism with kindness, the Peace Corps took its first steps when President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order on this day in 1961. At the time he was only requesting a trial mission, but the Peace Corps has since become a worldwide humanitarian institution.

4. March 2: Fun Facts About Names Day

A stack of name tags
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And you don't even have to go very far to celebrate. Check out some of our many posts celebrating onomastics.

5. March 3: What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day

They would rule the world is what.

6. March 3: National Anthem Day

The lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" superimposed on an old American flag.
Andrea Izzotti/iStock via Getty Images

By the dawn’s early light, we do believe the United States adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem on this very day. Francis Scott Key wrote the famous words in his 1814 poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which would later be set to a popular British standard tune. Although recognized over time by various American institutions, the song did not become the official anthem until Congress passed a resolution making it so in 1931.

7. March 4: National Grammar Day

The people who care most about this holiday will also want to know that National Proofreading Day is just a few days later, on March 8.

8. March 5: Cinco de Marcho

A group of men toasting mugs of beer
iStock.com/taa22

Technically, Cinco de Marcho is a nearly two-week celebration that commences on March 5 and is followed by a rigorous, 12-day training regimen that allows observers of the holiday to prepare their livers for St. Patrick’s Day.

9. March 6: Middle Name Pride Day

Time to celebrate the names of those long-lost relatives, your mom's maiden name, or whatever middle name your parents decided to give you—embarrassing or otherwise.

10. March 7: Alexander Graham Bell Day

Alexander Graham Bell
Hulton Archive/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

On March 7, 1876, 29-year-old American inventor Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for a little invention called "the telephone."

11. March 7: Genealogy Day

It's been a long winter, and March just wants to make sure you didn’t forget who you are.

12. March 8: National Proofreading Day

A hand holding a red pen and marking up a document
AndreyPopov/iStock via Getty Images

Sure, it may seem scary—but the red pen is your friend. As is giving that missive you’re about to send a second (and very careful) reading. A typo might not seem like a big deal … until it costs you $80 million (or some serious embarrassment.)

13. March 9: Panic Day

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy enthusiasts may struggle to fully embrace this holiday, but this March 9th event encourages you to indulge all of your deepest fears and let loose a rampage of unbridled hysteria. Observational practices may include—but are certainly not limited to—tearing out one’s hair, sobbing uncontrollably on the subway, running around the office in a flop sweat and screaming at the top of your lungs, or finally breaking ground on that underground bunker you’ve always dreamed of building.

14. March 9: Fill Our Staplers Day

Stephen Root in Office Space (1999).
Stephen Root in Office Space (1999).
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Founded by the Dull Men's Club, this holiday is intended to serve as a reminder to refill your stapler. But having an empty stapler is a good reminder to refill your stapler, too.

15. March 10: Organize Your Home Office Day

Why stop at refilling the stapler?

16. March 10: International Bagpipe Day

Traditional scottish bagpiper at Dunnottar Castle
Lukassek/iStock via Getty Images

There are more than 130 different kinds of bagpipes played worldwide, and this is an international holiday to celebrate every single one of them. Be prepared!

17. March 10: Mario Day

Written in abbreviated form, this date reads Mar 10. Or, as it appeared to a Mr. Mario Fascitelli: MARIO. Fascitelli decided this quirk of the calendar was deserving of a holiday for people to celebrate the Marios in their lives.

18. March 12: National Alfred Hitchcock Day

Alfred Hitchcock
Peter Dunne, Express/Getty Images

Nobody’s particularly sure why March 12th is Alfred Hitchcock Day: it’s neither the Master of Suspense’s birthday (that’s August 13), nor does it commemorate the date of his death (that happened on April 29, 1980). Still, it’s as good a time as any to regale your movie-loving friends and family members with your encyclopedic knowledge of Hitchcock trivia.

19. March 13: National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day

This day is for facing down that age-old superstition: Open an umbrella indoors and shield yourself from the bad luck that may or may not follow. (We’re hoping it’s the latter.)

20. March 14: Pi Day

Professor writes out the full number Pi on a chalkboard
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Don’t let the sound of the name fool you: 3/14 does not commemorate the sweet, baked circuitous treat (but feel free to grab a slice). It is the official day of the Greek letter symbolizing the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, pi, also known as 3.14159265359 …

21. March 14: International Fanny Pack Day

Retro styled man putting a gigantic cell phone into his fanny pack
iStock.com/RyanJLane

From grandparents to Normcore hipsters, the fanny pack spans generations—and so does this holiday. And, for better or worse (but definitely worse), it doesn’t seem in danger of going anywhere.

22. March 15: True Confessions Day

According to the calendar, March 15 is the perfect day to confess all your deepest, darkest secrets. Good luck!

23. March 16: Lips Appreciation Day

Young woman wearing shiny lip gloss
yacobchuk/iStock via Getty Images

Pucker up and give your pout some well-deserved love and attention.

24. March 16: Everything You Do Is Right Day

Yes, that’s correct. We couldn’t agree more.

25. March 18: Forgive Mom and Dad Day

Vintage style photo of a mother trying to feed her fussy baby
George Marks/iStock via Getty Images

This is a lovely sentiment and one that works even if you don't explain to your randomly forgiven parent that your apology applies to all past ill-will, considering March 18 is also Awkward Moment Day.

26. March 18: Awkward Moment Day

You can start by wishing complete strangers a "happy awkward moment day." Or by telling your parents you forgive them (see above).

27. March 20: Won't You Be My Neighbor Day

Fred Rogers in a still from 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' (2018)
Focus Features

Everyone's favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers, was born on March 20, 1928 and this holiday now serves as an occasion to remember the beloved TV star, and honor him by being kind, generous, and, well, downright neighborly.

28. March 20: Extraterrestrial Abductions Day

There’s no reason to believe that there will be an unusual proliferation of UFOs on this out-of-this-world holiday. At least that’s what Big Brother wants you to believe …

29. March 21: Play the Recorder Day

A student plays the recorder
Getty Images

Limber up those fingers and celebrate this ubiquitous childhood instrument with a rousing rendition of "Hot Cross Buns."

30. March 22: National Goof Off Day

Relax, take a break, play hooky—or just goof off in your own quiet way at your desk. (But if you tell your boss we’re the ones who suggested it, we’ll deny it.)

31. March 23: National Puppy Day

Golden retriever puppy playing with a toy
iStock.com/alexsokolov

Most of us don't really need an excuse to spend all day watching adorable young pups playing. But on March 23, it’s your nationally mandated duty. If merely observing puppies is not enough for you, consider donating to your local animal shelter—or just take the plunge and adopt one already (and send us pictures, please)!

32. March 25: Tolkien Reading Day

This annual holiday was started by The Tolkien Society back in 2003, and gives you a great excuse to re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings sagas again, or for the very first time.

33. March 25: International Waffle Day

A waffle covered in butter and syrup
zkruger/iStock via Getty Images

A tradition that originated in Sweden, International Waffle Day basically encourages the consumption of all things bready and waffled. It’s hard to disagree with that.

34. March 30: Doctors' Day

Symbolized by a red carnation, this honoring of our nation's physicians has been held annually since 1933.

35. March 31: Eiffel Tower Day

The Eiffel Tower as seen as part of the Paris cityscape
narvikk/iStock via Getty Images

One of the world’s most famous “towers” was dedicated to the city of Paris on March 31, 1889. Named for its designer, Gustav Eiffel, the structure was intended to commemorate the French Revolution. This Parisian landmark isn’t the only famous structure with Eiffel’s paw prints all over it; he also helped design the framework of New York’s Statue of Liberty.

12 Things You Might Not Know About Passover

iStock
iStock

For practicing Jews, Passover is a time to remember their deliverance from captivity in ancient Egypt. It's one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar, and in the days before the first night's seder, families make preparations such as cleaning the home of chametz and planning for a week of meaningful dietary restrictions. Here are 12 facts about Passover that you wouldn't have learned from a yearly viewing of The Ten Commandments.

1. Firstborn sons need to fast for Passover.

matzo
iStock

The festival of Passover (or Pesach) commemorates the story of the Jews' escape from Egypt. The passover in question is when the houses of the observant Israelites in captivity were "passed over" as Egypt's first-born children were killed (although confusingly, in the Torah, the date the 14th of Nisan is referred to as Passover while the week-long celebration is the Festival of Matzot. They've since been combined into one celebration called Passover).

In celebration of the firstborns being saved, it is traditional for them to fast on 14 Nisan. If there are no children, the oldest member of the household fasts. If the firstborn is a daughter? That depends on the tradition of the community.

2. Passover lasts either seven or eight days.

reading the Haggadah at Passover
iStock

The Torah says to celebrate Passover for seven days (the time between the Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea), but many Jews outside of Israel celebrate for eight. Traditionally each month of the Jewish calendar was determined by an astronomical observation and could be either 29 or 30 days long. After a new month was determined, messengers spread the word. For Jews who lived too far away for messengers to bring timely news of a new month, it was safest to celebrate for an extra day, so no matter how long the previous month was, the holiday was celebrated.

Eventually the calendar was standardized and the eight-day custom was no longer needed. Today, some Jewish denominations outside of Israel (like Reform Judaism) celebrate the mandated seven days, while many others prefer eight days. Inside Israel it's generally seven.

3. Leavened grains are a no-go at Passover.

Person sweeping the floor
iStock

One of the most important parts of Passover preparations is cleaning the house of chametz, or leavened food. Even the tiniest bit has to go. Because the Jews left Egypt in such a hurry, it's said they didn't have time to leaven their bread. To commemorate that, five grains (traditionally wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and oats) are banished from the house. Jews can spend weeks ensuring that the house is perfectly clean—and there are even professional chametz cleaning services that say they'll boil toys, break down and reassemble kitchen chairs … and possibly still leave the house dirty. There's a saying in Jewish households: "Dust is not chametz." The goal is to get rid of chametz above all else.

4. Matzo, which is made from wheat, is one of the most important parts of a Passover meal.

baking matzo
iStock

While there are restrictions against leavened products, one of the most important parts of a Passover meal is matzo, which is made from wheat. The difference between matzo and regular bread is that the wheat in matzo cannot come into contact with any water until it's ready to be cooked. And once water and wheat are mixed it has to be baked within 18 minutes (sources differ as to whether the timer stops when it enters or leaves the oven). After 18 minutes, fermentation begins and it is chametz.

But why 18 minutes? Supposedly it's because that's how long it takes to walk between the cities of Migdal Nunaiya and Tiberias in Israel. Over the years, scholars have argued about how long it would actually take to walk between the cities, with some proposing that copying errors reduced the distance from circa 4 miles to 1 and thus reduced the time from 72 minutes to 18. Nowadays, it's felt that even if there was a transcribing error, there's enough tradition to use 18 minutes.

5. Grains get complicated during Passover.

matzo ball soup
iStock

As Jews spread around the world, they often found themselves faced with foods that weren't explicitly mentioned for Passover. Sephardic Jews (generally) feel that only the five expressly mentioned grains are forbidden, while Ashkenazi Jews worry that the dishes made from certain other plants that look similar and are grown in similar conditions as the forbidden grains will risk contamination between the two. So if these ingredients (called kitniyot, or "legumes") were avoided, actual chametz could more easily be avoided (although kitniyot is nowhere near as regulated as chametz).

But recently, some authorities have argued that improved technology and storing methods have rendered the old methods obsolete. It's a current debate in some communities.

6. Some of the best matzo flour is made in Arizona.

field of wheat
iStock

One of the most difficult parts of making matzo is keeping the flour dry before it's ready to be converted into matzo; any water risks converting flour into chametz. So, according to The New York Times, one sect of Hasidic Jews has found the perfect farming conditions to produce their wheat—the arid fields of southwestern Arizona. The group of ultra-Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn, New York, work with a farm in Yuma, Arizona, to ensure that no unwanted moisture affects the crop, and the resulting kosher wheat is shipped back east to make up to 100,000 pounds of matzo.

7. Pets also get special food during Passover.

cute dog with head tilted
iStock

For Passover, houses must be free of chametz and there can be no benefit derived from it. This includes pet food. In keeping with this, there are Passover-friendly pet foods out there, and some Rabbinical authorities propose switching out your pet's diet for a few days—such as giving dogs straight meat or herbivores a variety of approved vegetables. If a pet must have a specific type of food—or you can't get Passover-friendly pet food—some observant Jews follow the rabbinical authorities who give the option to sell the pet to a gentile for a few days and then get it back after Passover has ended.

8. There are six symbolic Passover foods.

seder plate for Passover
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The focal point of the start of Passover is the Seder plate, and on it are six ceremonial items:

Beitzah—A cooked egg, representing sacrifice (it's also been suggested that while most foods soften when you cook them, eggs get harder, representing the resolve of the Jewish people)

Haroset—a sweet mix of fruits, nuts, and honey/wine that symbolizes the mortar used by Jews during their slavery

Karpas—a green vegetable signifying new life

Maror and hazeret—bitter herbs (often horseradish for maror and something like romaine for hazeret) to represent the bitterness of slavery

Zeroa—a shank bone (or a chicken neck) to remember the Paschal sacrifice.

9. Sometimes an orange is added to the Seder plate.

slice of orange
iStock

In the 1980s, Dartmouth professor Susannah Heschel spoke on a panel at Oberlin College. While there, she met some students who told a story of a rabbi who said "There's as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the seder plate." In response, they started placing a crust on their plates.

Heschel was inspired, but felt that using bread sent the wrong message, writing "it renders everything chametz … [suggesting] that being a lesbian is being transgressive, violating Judaism." So she proposed putting an orange (originally a tangerine) on the Seder plate to symbolize Jewish gays and lesbians. At some point a story emerged that it was actually to symbolize women in general, but Heschel explained: "A woman's words are attributed to a man, and the affirmation of lesbians and gay men is erased. Isn't that precisely what's happened over the centuries to women's ideas?"

Other more modern additions include pine cones (symbolizing mass incarceration), an artichoke (to recognize interfaith families), or tomatoes or Fair Trade chocolate (to remember that there's still slavery around the world).

10. Some major companies produce special kosher-for-Passover food and beverages.

ad for kosher Coca-Cola
Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC-BY-2.0

Many companies produce special kosher-for-Passover products, from chocolate syrup to cake mixes. But one of the most important is Coca-Cola. In the early 20th century Rabbi Tobias Geffen was serving as an Orthodox Rabbi in Atlanta. Due to his location (Coca-Cola was invented and is headquartered in Atlanta), he was frequently asked if Coca-Cola was kosher. After analyzing the product, he found two problem ingredients—alcohol and glycerin.

The alcohol was a problem because it was grain-derived and thus unacceptable for Passover, a problem that was solved by switching to fermented molasses. The other problem, however, was glycerin. The glycerin was derived from animals, and there was simply no economic way to ensure the animals were kosher. As Roger Horowitz explains in Kosher USA, there's an exemption in the rules for a tiny amount of an unacceptable ingredient—designed to cover mistakes—and Coca-Cola's glycerin content was dramatically below that level. Rabbi Geffen, however, believed that since the glycerin was deliberately added, it didn't qualify for this rule. Soon though, a new source of glycerin from cottonseed oil emerged, and Coca-Cola was approved for Passover.

When Coca-Cola switched to high fructose corn syrup, however, that created a problem for Ashkenazi Jews. As such, today there's a special yellow-capped Coca-Cola that doesn't use HFCS and is certified kosher.

11. Maxwell House coffee holds a special place at Passover.

Maxwell House Haggadahs
Tom Lappin, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

But the most influential company is likely Maxwell House. In the 1920s they decided to expand their presence to Jewish families—but there was a problem. Colloquially known as coffee "beans," there was a view that they were legumes, and as such forbidden to Ashkenazi Jews. Soon Maxwell House convinced reluctant coffee drinkers that their product was acceptable and in 1932 the company began publishing the Maxwell House Haggadah (the Haggadah is the telling of the Exodus and how to perform a seder meal). In the years since, Maxwell House estimates that it has published 50 million Haggadahs, which were even the preferred text for the Obama White House Seder.

12. The world's largest Seder happens in a surprising location.

Hundreds of worshippers gather in a hall for Passover in Kathmandu in 2014.
Hundreds of worshippers gather in a hall for Passover in Kathmandu in 2014.
PRAKASH MATHEMA, AFP/Getty Images

Going on for almost 30 years and hosting over 1000 people, the Kathmandu Seder was started in 1989 by the Israeli ambassador to Nepal, who quickly realized that the demand was much higher than he was ready for. The ambassador contacted a rabbi friend who dispatched two rabbinical students to aid the preparations. The seder was a massive success—expecting 90 guests and hoping for 150, they ultimately had 500 guests.

Nowadays, preparations for the seder start months in advance, with 1000 bottles of wine and over 1000 pounds of matzo getting shipped in from the United States and Israel.

Can You Spot the Easter Egg Hiding in the Flowers in This Springtime Brain Teaser?

Don't worry—the puzzle below won't trigger your seasonal allergies.
Don't worry—the puzzle below won't trigger your seasonal allergies.
FlairImages/iStock via Getty Images

Scores of residents likely won’t be dashing through vibrant flower gardens at your neighborhood’s traditional Easter egg hunt this year, but you can still put your eagle eye to good use in this brain teaser, courtesy of online blinds retailer 247 Blinds.

In the following image, a single egg is hidden somewhere among the bright pattern of yellow flowers and green leaves. Once you’ve spotted it (or decided to throw in the towel), scroll down to reveal the answer.

spot the egg in the flowers brain teaser
Can you spot the Easter egg?
247 Blinds

The design in the image is the very same one as the online retailer's “Hard to Crack” roller blinds—cleverly concealed egg included—which you can customize to fit most standard windows. Not only will it give your room a sunny, springtime ambience, it’ll also give your house guests something to do while they sip their morning coffee.

Ready to wrap up your virtual Easter egg hunt? The egg is circled in red below.

spot the egg in the flowers brain teaser answer
You've earned a chocolate bunny or two.
247 Blinds

And while you’re waiting for the Easter Bunny to deliver a basket brimming with candy-filled eggs this weekend, find out where the Easter Bunny came from here.

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