SN Promotion Calendar: The Ides of March (Mar. 15)

2018-03-14

Did you know that March 15 is the Ides of March—a universally auspicious day? This date, as well as other monthly, weekly and daily celebration ideas, can be found in School Nutrition’s 2017-18 Promotion Calendar.

CAESAR: The ides of March are come. 
SOOTHSAYER: Aye, but not gone.

In spite of Shakespeare’s ominous phrase, “Beware the ides of March,” ides are nothing to be frightened of—they simply refer the middle of the month. Every month has an ides: it falls on the 15th for March, May, July and October and falls on the 13th of the other months. Months are also regulated, on the Roman calendar, by calends and nones. The calends refers to the first day of each month and the nones is the 9th day before the ides. So the nones of March is the 6th. Of course, neither nones nor calends sounds as intimidating as ides—and Julius Caesar really was assassinated on March 15, 44 BCE. Maybe he should have listened to that soothsayer after all.

Julius Caesar was a lot more than a military man and a change-maker—at the time he was murdered by his Roman countrymen (his friends, Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger and Gaius Cassius Longinus, along with the other members of the Roman Senate), Caesar was attempting to install himself as dictator. We’ll never know if he was aware of the supreme irony of his stabbing on the Ides of March, but we can assume that Brutus and his murderous compatriots did: Just two years prior, Caesar brazenly decided to change the calendar. He moved the traditional Roman New Year, which took place on March 15, to the beginning of January (where it remains today). By murdering him on that date, the Romans didn’t just usher in a “new year,” they created a new era that completely contradicted everything they stood—and had committed the crime—for.

With Caesar dead, power in Rome was unstable and the way was paved for a series of dictators more irrational than Julius Caesar, who chose to ruin the Democratic state Brutus and those in the Senate were attempting to protect. Brutus and Cassius died just two years later, in 42 BCE. 

Post-Roman empire, history did not improve on the Ides of March. Here is a list of other disasters and perilous events that occurred on this portentous date:

  • The French conduct a surprise raid on Southern England, 1360
  • Revolution breaks out in Hungary against the ruling Habsburgs, 1848
  • Czar Nicholas II abdicates his throne, ending a 304-year dynasty, 1917
  • H.P. Lovecraft, famous science fiction author, dies, 1937
  • The Germans invade and occupy Czechoslovakia, 1939
  • The Ed Sullivan Show is cancelled, 1972
  • Hotel New World collapses in Singapore, 1986
  • Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first President of the Soviet Union, 1990
  • The World Health Organization alerts the globe to SARS, 2003
  • The Syrian Civil War begins, 2011

For more notable people, dates, celebrations and ideas for your school nutrition operations, visit schoolnutrition.org/PromoCalendar.

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