25 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in March

iStock.com/Lukassek
iStock.com/Lukassek

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
iStock.com/HadelProductions

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 3: What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day

They would rule the world is what.

4. March 3: National Anthem Day

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.

5. 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.

6. 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; it 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.

7. March 7: Alexander Graham Bell Day

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

8. March 8: National Proofreading Day

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.)

9. March 8: 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 chose to give you.

10. March 9: International Fanny Pack Day

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

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

11. March 10: International Bagpipe Day

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!

12. March 12: National Alfred Hitchcock Day

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.

13. 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.)

14. March 14: Pi Day

Professor writes out the full number Pi on a chalkboard
iStock.com/domin_domin

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 …

15. March 15: True Confessions Day

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

16. March 16: Lips Appreciation Day

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

17. March 16: 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."

18. March 16: Everything You Do Is Right Day

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

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

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.

20. 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 …

21. 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.)

22. 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)!

23. 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.

24. March 25: International Waffle Day

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.

25. March 31: Eiffel Tower Day

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.

10 Things You May Not Know About the Easter Bunny

iStock.com/kzenon
iStock.com/kzenon

Whether you attend a church service, decorate eggs, or devour Peeps, no Easter celebration is complete without a visit from the Easter Bunny. Check out these 10 things you may not know about the Easter Bunny, from its contested origins to its surprising iterations around the world.

1. It may have come from a pagan goddess of fertility—with some help from a Brother Grimm ...

"Ostara" (1901) by Johannes Gehrts.
Eduard Ade, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

While we don’t know its exact origins, some believe the Easter Bunny has its roots in Anglo-Saxon paganism. According to Bede, a prolific 8th-century English monk, the Anglo-Saxon month Eosturmonath (broadly the Easter season) "was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honor feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honored name of the old observance." Whether Eostre was real or an invention by Bede has long been controversial, but scholarship on the goddess didn't really pick up for over a thousand years.

In his 1835 book Deutsche Mythologie, Jacob Grimm (of the Brothers Grimm) speculated that Eostre was connected to a German goddess named Ostara (whose existence, again, is controversial). Almost 40 years later, Adolf Holtzmann wrote that "The Easter Hare is unintelligible to me, but probably the hare was the sacred animal of Ostara," and a contemporary named K. A. Oberle hypothesized that "the hare which lay the parti-coloured Easter eggs was sacred to [Ostara]."

Over the years, other writers repeated these speculations as fact, and the idea that a hare was one of Eostre's sacred animals spread. Although hares and rabbits are different species, they're often conflated because the animals look alike and are both associated with fertility.

2. … Or it may come from a myth about that goddess's bird.

baby chick and bunny cuddling in a field
iStock.com/UroshPetrovic

Other scholars, however, think the Easter Bunny originated from an Anglo-Saxon myth about Eostre. According to the myth, the goddess was entertaining a group of kids one day. To make them laugh, she transformed her pet bird into a rabbit, giving it the ability to lay colored eggs. Eostre then gave the eggs to the children. A similar myth portrays a more malevolent Eostre, who turned her pet bird into a rabbit or hare because she was enraged. But other historians, noting the lack of any information outside of Bede regarding Eostre or Ostara, have speculated that these stories are possibly corruptions of Ukrainian folktales that explained that country's practice of making pysanky—essentially highly decorated eggs. An alternate hypothesis is that Oberle (or perhaps Holtzmann) made the decision that because the rabbit lays eggs it must have at some point transformed from a bird, making this story an entirely late-19th century invention.

3. The Pennsylvania Dutch introduced the Oschter Haws to the U.S.

A nest of colorful Easter eggs
iStock.com/tortoon

In the late 17th century, groups of Christian German immigrants began settling in Pennsylvania. They taught their children about the Oschter Haws (or Osterhase), a hare from German folklore that gave colorful eggs to well-behaved children on Easter. To prepare for the Oschter Haws's arrival, German and German-American kids built a small nest or basket for the hare's eggs. Over time, the Oschter Haws character gained popularity and was Americanized, morphing into the Easter Bunny.

4. It's not in the Bible, but it might be associated with the Virgin Mary.

"The Madonna of the Rabbit," by Titian, circa 1530.
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is a secular symbol of a Christian holiday. Although the Easter Bunny doesn't appear in the Bible, some religious scholars argue that it was originally associated with the Virgin Mary, rather than the pagan goddess Eostre. Because rabbits and hares were so fertile, Ancient Greeks and early medieval Christians thought that the animals could reproduce without having sex. Consequently, artwork and manuscripts often depict the Virgin Mary with rabbit iconography, alluding to the view that both the Virgin Mary and rabbits were able to have virgin births.

5. In Australia, it's the Easter Bilby …

A chocolate Easter Bilby
iStock.com/Bastetamn

Rather than celebrate Easter with bunnies, Australians are increasingly ushering in autumn (which is when Easter falls in the southern hemisphere) with the Easter Bilby. Also called rabbit-bandicoots, bilbies are Australian marsupials with long, rabbit-like ears. Things began looking grim for bilbies two centuries ago, when new predators and diseases were introduced into their habitat. Then, European rabbits—an invasive species whose population really took off when a few were released more than 150 years ago so they could be hunted—drove them out of their natural habitat until only a few thousand of the animals remained. But in the 1980s and '90s, Australians began doing more to protect the bilby. A book called Billy The Aussie Easter Bilby popularized the concept of the Easter Bilby, and the establishment of the Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia educated Australians about the ecological harm that rabbits wreak. Today, you can find chocolate bilbies in Australia around Easter time, and some chocolate companies even donate a portion of their proceeds to organizations that save the animals.

6. … And in other countries, you'll find The Easter Bell, Easter Witches, and Easter Cuckoo.

Two women feed candy to fish while dressed as Easter witches at the Aquaria Vattenmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden in 2016.
Two women feed candy to fish while dressed as Easter witches at the Aquaria Vattenmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden in 2016.
JESSICA GOW, TT/AFP/Getty Images

While the Easter Bilby might sound strange to anyone unfamiliar with it, other countries have their own, even weirder versions of the Easter Bunny. In most of France, children believe that flying church bells travel to the Vatican and bring back chocolate treats in time for Easter Sunday. In Sweden, kids dress up as wizards and witches rather than bunnies. And in Switzerland, the Easter Cuckoo (bird) is a symbol of the spring holiday.

7. A sensory-friendly Easter Bunny caters to kids with autism.

Easter Bunny greets a small child
iStock.com/MCCAIG

A sensory-friendly Caring Bunny greeted and posed for photos with children with autism and special needs on World Autism Awareness Day in 2017. Sponsored by Autism Speaks, the event took place in malls across the U.S., dimming the lights, lowering the music, and shutting down noisy escalators and fountains to accommodate kids who are unable to deal with the visual and auditory stimulation of a normal mall. It's now an annual tradition at some malls.

8. Famous people love donning Easter Bunny costumes.

The Easter Bunny drops eggs on the field in between innings of a Cincinnati Reds game.
The Easter Bunny drops eggs on the field in between innings of a Cincinnati Reds game.
Joe Robbins, Getty Images

While most people enjoy dressing up for Halloween, celebrities can't seem to get enough of donning a big rabbit suit on Easter. Singers, actors, and sports stars such as Mariah Carey, Madonna, David Beckham, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West have all shared photos of themselves wearing Easter Bunny costumes, which range from a simple set of bunny ears to a full-body white, fluffy suit.

9. Former U.S. Press Secretary Sean Spicer was once the White House Easter Bunny.

Then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reads a book to children during the White House's annual Easter Egg Roll in 2017.
Then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reads a book to children during the White House's annual Easter Egg Roll in 2017.
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

The White House's annual Easter Egg Roll, which began in 1878, draws children and families to the President's home for egg hunting and musical performances. Traditionally, a member of the president's administration dresses up as the Easter Bunny to entertain kids and their families. When George W. Bush was president, then-assistant U.S. trade representative for media and public affairs Sean Spicer wore the bunny costume. In March 2016, Spicer poked fun at his old role, retweeting a photo of himself with the comment: "The good ole days—what I would give to hide in a bunny costume again."

10. Chocolate bunnies are insanely popular.

A chocolate bunny
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Halloween and Easter are the two big holidays for candy sales, with Easter sometimes coming out on top (at least in dollar sales). This year, Americans are expected to spend $18.1 billion on the holiday, and 87 percent of celebrants planned to buy Easter candy like chocolate bunnies, marshmallow bunnies and eggs, and jelly beans. About 90 million chocolate bunnies are produced every Easter, which makes for a ton of mouthwatering chocolate rabbits in kids' (and adults') Easter baskets.

A version of this story originally ran in 2017.

15 Smart Gifts for Administrative Professionals’ Day

Amazon
Amazon

Without the tireless work of administrative professionals, offices would surely fall apart. This holiday, formerly known as Secretaries' Day, is all about showing thanks for their great contributions. It falls on Wednesday of the last full week of April—April 24 this year—so there's still time to pick out a thoughtful gift for the people in your office who make life easier for everyone.

1. NESSIE TEA INFUSER; $13

Steeping loose tea is a lot more fun when you can create a cryptid sighting right in your mug. This dishwasher-safe, silicone tea infuser looks just like a baby Loch Ness monster that stores tea leaves in its belly.

Find it: Amazon

2. KNIGHT PEN HOLDER; $30

With this regal display, a good pen will always be close at hand. The resin knight statuette comes with its own refillable black ink pen and works as a nice reminder that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Find it: Walmart

3. MIRA WATER BOTTLE; $14

Give the gift of hydration: These 17-ounce bottles are perfect for carrying water, coffee, or tea. The insulation will keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, and its leak-proof top makes it a mess-free travel companion.

Find it: Amazon

4. CAFFEINE SOAP; $8

Morning showers can be a lot more energized with bars of soap charged with caffeine. The peppermint-scented soap is infused with caffeine, which can be absorbed through the skin (at roughly 200 milligrams per washing) to give a little pre-latte jolt before work.

Find it: ThinkGeek

5. HANDICORN; $7

Downtime at the office can now mean a visit from a friendly unicorn. The five piece set comes with four hoofed feet and a unicorn head that fit neatly over most fingers.

Find it: Amazon

6. SOLITAIRE CARDS; $16

It's just like the computer game, but in real life! This deck of cards from Areaware uses the original artwork of Susan Kare from the Windows 3.0 Solitaire game. Kare even designed joker cards just for the physical set of cards.

Find it: Amazon

7. RETRO PENS; $10

Note taking is about to go old school with these cute, retro-styled pens. The set of five click-top pens come in satisfying muted colors that would dazzle any '60s corporate employee.

Find it: Amazon

8. Poloroid 7-Inch Digital Photo Frame; $36

A photo frame with a photo of three children at the beach inside
Polaroid, Target

This digital picture frame allows the user to upload photo files from a memory card or flash drive and turn them into automated slideshow, allowing them to fit more pictures of their loved ones and pets on their desk at work without actually impeding their, you know, space for work.

Find it: Target or Walmart

9. SHEEP PUSH PIN HOLDER; $14

At first glance, this is just a sheep with a lovely wool coat. In reality, this sheep is covered in white push pins that can be easily removed and replaced. The clever pin holder is great for any animal lover with a constant need for thumbtacks.

Find it: Amazon

10. CAT POST-IT HOLDER; $8

Here's another helpful animal office product: A cat that dispenses sticky notes. The whiskered feline comes with one pack of Post-Its and can be refilled with any 3-by-3-inch notepads.

Find it: Amazon

11. 30 DAY CHALLENGE; $12

This charming little note dispenser spits out encouraging words and advice. Geared toward self-care, each note suggests one thing the reader can do to slow down and enjoy each day.

Find it: Urban Outfitters

12. SPACE NOTEBOOK; $4

Jot down notes that are out of this world! This astrological notebook has a nice matte cover and an elastic band to keep it shut. The notebook comes with 256 lined pages for plenty of thoughts on the cosmos, extraterrestrials, or conference call numbers.

Find it: ModCloth

Note: This notebook is currently out of stock, but this pocket notebook from Paper Source is a good (and cheap!) replacement.

13. CACTUS CANDLES; $8

For the coworker who just can't seem to keep a desktop plant alive, these cactus-shaped candles are almost too cute to light. Each box comes with six candles in three different styles.

Find it: Amazon

14. HEAT SENSITIVE PAC-MAN MUG; $21

Pouring hot liquid into this mug is a lot like turning on an arcade game. As the mug heats up, a Pac-Man game emerges—cherries, ghost, and all.

Find it: Walmart, Amazon, or one of the retailers below:

15. SCRATCH OFF BOOK POSTER; $26

This helpful chart recommends 100 different classic books, dating back to 1605. Each book is illustrated and coated with a gold foil design, which proud readers can scratch off to keep track of—or show off—how many tomes they've tackled.

Find it: Pop Chart Lab

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availability.

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