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What Exactly is The Ides of March?

Caesar was warned to beware the Ides of March which was when he met his demise, at least in the words of Shakespeare. Aside from that what do you know about the ides of March? Where did it come from? Truthfully – nobody really knows. The strongest theory is that the 15th of March was the day of the full moon according to the Roman calendar. There is actually an ides of  March, May, July, and October. The day was sometimes dedicated to Mars, and was celebrated as a holiday.

Other than that we don’t really know much about it’s origins and it may very well be famous solely because we were all forced to suffer through Shakespeare at some point in life. To Caesar it was a fair warning though – being stabbed 23 times would constitute having a bad day.

Modern societies still celebrate it in various ways – according to Wikipedia:

  • The Ides of March is celebrated every year by the Rome Hash House Harriers with a toga run in the streets of Rome, in the same place where Julius Caesar was killed.
  • The Republic of Hungary commemorates National Day, a remembrance of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 which grew into a war for independence from Habsburg rule.
  • The Atlanta Chapter of the Dagorhir Battle Games Association hosts an annual spring event at Red Horse Stables on the weekend closest to 15 March. The event is appropriately named “The Ides of March”.
  • The Temple Hill Association in New Windsor, NY holds an annual dinner in honor of the Ides of March because it is also the day that General George Washington quelled a mutiny of his Officers in 1783
  • The Ides of March is the date of the publication of the annual Idus Martii by third-year Classics students at Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík.
  • Founders Brewing Company have had a tradition of releasing their Founders KBS beer on the Ides of March
  • Former employees of Hayssen Manufacturing in Sheboygan Wisconsin, USA, use the Ides of March as a remembrance of the day (March 15, 1995) the announcement was made that the plant they worked at was being closed permanently.

So what are you doing to celebrate the Ides of March?

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