March National Days
Spring is in the air but it’s still a bit nippy out. Take advantage of Time for a Cuppa, British Pie Week, World Book Day & Chocolate Caramel Day to hibernate indoors for a little bit longer.
Brain Injury Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
National Bed Month
Self-Harm Awareness Month
Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal
1 St David’s Day
A celebration of the patron saint of Wales who died on this day in 589AD. It is usual for Welsh people to wear a daffodil or leek (one of the national emblems) on this day.
Thought to be the grandson of Ceredig, King of Ceredigion, he was educated in Cardiganshire before going on a pilgrimage through south Wales and the west of England, where it is said that he founded religious centres such as Glastonbury and Croyland. He also made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was made archbishop. He eventually settled at Glyn Rhosyn (now called St David’s), in south-west Wales, where he established a very strict religious community.
Many miracles have been attributed to St David, the most incredible of which was performed when he was preaching at the Synod of Llanddewibrefi – he caused the ground to rise underneath him so that he could be seen and heard by all.
1 Ash Wednesday
The first day of the Christian festival Lent which represents Jesus’ 40 day fast in the desert. So called because palms from last years Palm Sunday are burned & the blessed ashes mixed with Holy Water to make a paste. This is placed on a person’s forehead by the priest in the shape of a cross. Ash Wednesday always falls 46 days before Easter Sunday
1 National Pig Day (USA)
An annual event started in 1972 “to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognised, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals”. The day is celebrated with pig parties & events at zoos & schools.
1-8 Time for a Cuppa
An annual fundraising event run by Dementia UK to raise money to provide families with care & support from Admiral Nurses. There are currently over 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and this is expected to increase to 1 million by 2025. It can be a difficult and emotionally tiring for everyone involved and often people find themselves in the role of carer without really knowing what to do. Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses who provide families with an understanding of dementia and give them the tools and skills to deal with challenges effectively, whilst also providing psychological support to help family carers carry on caring for their family member.
There are currently 132 Admiral Nurses in the UK but Dementia UK want this to raise to 200 by 2016 – and ultimately 1000. Their aim: everyone who needs the support of an Admiral Nurse has access to one. To hold an event, visit www.timeforacuppa.org
2 World Book Day
World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and, most importantly, a celebration of reading. It’s the biggest celebration of its kind and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading. It provides them with the opportunity to have books of their own as book tokens are sent out to schools.
3 World Wildlife Day
Proclaimed by the UN in 2013. The day celebrates the variety of wild fauna & flora & the benefits that conservation provides to people. It is also a chance to raise awareness of the social, economic & environmental impact of wildlife crimes & the role that local communities can play to help prevent illegal wildlife trade.
3 Big Yellow Friday
A fundraising event to raise money for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. Started in 1980, the CLDF charity offers support & information to children with liver disease & their families. It also funds research into the diagnosis, understanding & treatment of the disease. Every day, 2 children are diagnosed with liver disease & there are over 100 different types of liver disease that can affect children & young people.
Hold a yellow event such as party, dress-up day or cake sale & help raise funds.
3 Dress in Blue Day (USA)
Part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, it was introduced to raise awareness of colon cancer & to recognise the bravery of those suffering from the disease. Proceeds raised through ‘Dress in Blue Day’ are used to fund important research and prevention programs, as well as to provide support to patients. By being more aware of colon cancer, Colon Cancer Alliance hopes to encourage people to have regular screening in the hope of being able to detect any warning signs before the situation becomes much more serious.
3-5 The Great British Spring Clean
A weekend clean up campaign to get Britain tidy. Following on from the success of the Clean for the Queen campaign in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday in June 2016, individuals & groups are asked to do their bit & lend a helping hand. You can organise your own clean up or join one of the many held across the country. To find an event near you, visit The Great British Spring Clean website.
4 Pound Cake Day
An old-fashioned cake much like a Victoria Sponge where traditionally, a pound of each ingredient is used.Beware if you’re making, a pound each of flour, sugar, butter & eggs makes a very large cake! These days people add their own mark to it by adding vanilla, chocolate, dried fruit or orange.
6-12 British Pie Week
A savoury or sweet baked dish usually with a pastry lid or pastry top & bottom. A British classic, traditional fillings include steak & kidney or apple. British Pie Week started in 2007 as a sales campaign by Jus-Rol, those well known pastry makers. Now you can make your own or treat yourself at one of the pubs or restaurants taking part. There’s nothing more homely & comforting than a pie, especially when the weather’s cold.
8 International Women’s Day
Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. It represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911 when one million men and women attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. Each year, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. In some countries, IWD is now an official holiday & tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues and other women with flowers and small gifts.
8 No Smoking Day
The British Heart Foundation’s annual big push to get smokers who want to quit started on the path to being ‘Proud Quitters’. If you know someone that’s thinking of giving up smoking but needs a helping hand, sign them up for the No Smoking Day free campaign pack.
9 World Kidney Day
An annual global awareness & educational event held on the 2nd Thursday in March. Every year, countless local and national events are organised by kidney charities, healthcare professionals, patient groups and individuals who want to make a difference. Get behind the campaign and help draw public attention to the need for kidney health.
10 National Pack Your Lunch Day
A packed lunch used to be the norm for workers, unless they could pop back home. With more & more convenience foods, we’ve got out of the habit & think we don’t have enough time. We reckon you could save about £50 a month by taking a packed lunch to work each day. If you’re rushed in the morning, make it the night before & put it in the fridge overnight. You can have sandwiches, soup, pasta, salad, wrap…. the list goes on. You’ll probably find you’re eating more healthily as well. Give it a try on 10th March & see how it goes.
10-19 British Science Week
A ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths featuring fascinating, entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages. Even if science was never a lesson you enjoyed at school, have a go – you may find it’s interesting after all!
13 Commonwealth Day
An annual event held on the second Monday in March in which the fifty-three member countries of the Commonwealth (almost all of which were formally under British rule), celebrate their links with one another. It is marked by a service in Westminster Abbey, normally attended by Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth. The day is an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and Commonwealth values, as well as the work of Commonwealth organisations.
13-19 National Butchers’ Week
Urging consumers to turn to the experts for their meat with the message that ‘butcher is better’. Independent retailers throughout the UK will be taking part in the week, in which shoppers will be reminded that butchers remain the number one choice for range, service and convenience when it comes to purchasing meat.
14 National Pi Day (USA)
Celebrating the famous number used to calculate the area of a circle (where would we be without it). Commonly used as 3.14, Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits past its decimal.
15 Kick Butts Day
Part of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The aim of the day is to raise awareness about the problems of tobacco use & to encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free.
16 National Panda Day
A day celebrating & raising awareness of these black & white cuddly, roly-poly creatures. Once found throughout China, northern Vietnam & northern Myanmar, today the giant panda is found in only 6 mountainous regions of China & it is thought that as few as 1860 remain in the wild. Like many animals, loss of food supplies & habitat are a daily threat making it hard for them to find the quantity of bamboo they need to sustain themselves & finding a mate to breed with more difficult. To help protect the species, adopt a giant panda today.
17 St Patrick’s Day
Celebrating the patron saint of Ireland. St Patrick was a 5th century missionary & thought to be the first bishop of Armagh. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped at 16 & brought to Ireland as a slave. After 6 years, he managed to escape, later returning to Ireland & spreading Christianity to its people. St Patrick’s Day is observed on the date of his death & celebrated not just in Ireland but in countries all over the world where the Irish have settled. Originally a religious feast, celebrations now take the form of parades, dancing & Guinness.
18 National Corndog Day (USA)
A celebration of basketball & the snack to have whilst you’re watching it! It takes place on the first Saturday of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. Corndog’s are hot dogs dipped in cornmeal batter, fried & served on a stick.
19 Chocolate Caramel Day
A unique combination that is definitely worth celebrating. Do you have it as ice-cream, cheesecake, a chocolate bar or Millionaire’s Shortbread? What a decision to make!
19 Poultry Day
A celebration of some of our feathered friends. What would our diet be like without chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese? What would we eat on Christmas Day or what would breakfast be without a boiled egg? As for pillows……….
20 Spring Equinox
The March equinox marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north. On the equinox (from Latin meaning equal night), night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world.
20 Macaron Day
Not to be confused with coconut macaroons, these colourful treats want a day all to themselves. Initiated by Pierre Herme Paris ten years ago, Macaron Day arrived in the UK for the first time in 2012. Participating bakeries offer free macarons in exchange for a donation to that year’s charity.
20-26 National Salt Awareness Week
A campaign run by the charity CASH (Consensus Action on Salt & Health) to reduce salt in the UK diet & improve public health. A high salt intake can influence blood pressure and may predispose a child to the development of a number of diseases including: high blood pressure, osteoporosis, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, stomach cancer and obesity. We are all more aware these days of the fact that salt is being added to nearly all processed foods, we still need to act on that awareness & cut down. Read labels & aim for low salt options or make meals yourself from scratch & go easy on the salt.
20-26 Meat Free Week UK (TBC)
Perhaps not the best week to have it, seeing as it coincides with National Butchers’ Week! This campaign started in Australia in 2013 & aims to get people eating less meat. When you do buy it, shop carefully & think about animal welfare & the environment.
21 International Day of Forests
A UN day to celebrate the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land & help raise awareness as to their importance. Forests are home to a large percentage of plant, animal & insect species. They also provide shelter & livelihood for certain cultures & communities. We rely on them to help balance the oxygen & carbon dioxide in the air that we breathe yet despite all this, 13 million hectares of forest are being destroyed each year.
22 World Water Day
A United Nations day focusing on the importance of freshwater and the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Water is essential for life but across the globe a staggering 783 million people have no access to clean water. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.
23 World Meteorological Day
Commemorates the 1950s convention that created the World Meteorological Organisation, part of the UN. The organization encourages young people to learn more about our weather and climate system and to contribute to action on climate change. ‘WMO places highest priority on advancing our scientific knowledge about changing climate system and enhancing countries capacities for predicting future climate and using climate information and services in all social and economic activities’.
23 International Puppy Day (USA)
Founded by Pet Lifestyle Expert, Colleen Paige. Millions of unwanted puppies sit alone in shelters every day. Many never make it out to enjoy a life of love and security. The campaign urges people not to buy a puppy from a pet store, which only supports puppy mills that neglect and torture dogs. If we are ever going to fix the problem of pet overpopulation, it starts with YOU! Be part of the solution…not part of the problem. ADOPT….DON”T SHOP!
24 Red Nose Day
A fun biennial televised event to raise money for Comic Relief, alternating with Sports Relief. Launched in 1988, over 150 celebrities & comedians took part in the first broadcast, raising over £15 million. Red clown noses are sold throughout the UK to also help raise money & the public are encouraged to hold their own fundraising events
24 World TB Day
Commemorates Dr Robert Koch’s announcement in 1882 that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. Despite this, tuberculosis remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.
25 International Waffle Day
Waffles are so popular they are celebrated in both March & August! The American feast on 24 August celebrates the date of the first patented waffle iron. This celebration in March comes from the Swedish tradition Varfrudagen (Our Lady’s Day) in honour of the Virgin Mary – also known as Annunciation. The Swedish varfru sounds close enough to vaffle, the Swedish for waffle, for everyone to get excited & whip out the waffle iron. A type of pancake made with a batter & then cooked in a special frying pan, waffles also suit both sweet & savoury toppings.
25 Earth Hour
Organised by WWF & started in Australia in 2007 to raise awareness & involve the public in protecting the planet. A global annual event, it encourages individuals & companies to turn off non-essential lights for one hour between 8.30pm & 9.30pm local time, to show they care about our planet. It’s about people from across the globe coming together to create a symbolic and spectacular lights out display and asking for change. Last year 162 countries took part – Buckingham Palace even turned off their lights!. Sign up now at the WWF website.
25-2 Apr English Tourism Week
Run by VisitEngland to raise awareness & to celebrate the quality of English tourism and the value the industry brings to the nation
Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditionally a holiday for domestic servants who were allowed home to visit their mothers & the church where they had grown up. Although in the middle of the fasting period of Lent, they were allowed to bring with them a Simnel Cake.This is a fruit cake with a layer of marzipan cooked in the middle & decorated with 11 balls to represent the apostles, excluding Judas. Gradually, the Simnel Cake became less of a Mothering Sunday tradition & associated more with Easter.
26 British Summer Time (BST) begins
Put your clock forward an hour at 01.00 to make the most of longer evenings.
26 Purple Day
In aid of epilepsy awareness. The day was started in Canada in 2008 by nine year old Cassidy Megan who wanted to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. There are several ways to get involved; wear purple for the day and encourage your family, friends or colleagues to do the same for a donation. Alternatively, buy & wear a specially designed purple ribbon to show your support or text a purple pound (see website for details).
27 World Theatre Day
First held in 1962 & organised by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). Events are organised across the globe & a well known person, is asked to share an international message . This message is translated into more than 20 languages & read to audiences before theatre performances.
31 Wear a Hat Day
In aid of brain tumour awareness. Organised by the Brian Tumour Research charity, Wear A Hat Day is the premier brain tumour awareness event in the UK, raising money to find more effective treatments & ultimately a cure for this devastating disease. Currently, research into brain tumours receives less than 1% of national cancer research spending yet it kills more children & adults under the age of 40 than any other form of cancer. So get involved & get friends & family involved too. Wear a hat on the day & make a donation to the charity. For more details, visit www.wearahatday.org.