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
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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 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
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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
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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
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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 …

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.

15 Scientific Ways to Relax for National Relaxation Day

iStock/anyaberkut via Getty Images
iStock/anyaberkut via Getty Images

Today is National Relaxation Day, so you have a great excuse to take it easy. Here’s how science can help you have the most laid-back day of the year.

1. Get a house or office plant.

Spending time in nature improves your overall wellbeing, but it turns out even just a little greenery is great for your health. Studies have shown patients in hospital rooms with plants report lower stress. Even just stepping into a lush space can reduce your heart rate. Plus, plants are effective at increasing oxygen and clearing out toxins, which should help you breathe easier—literally.

2. Avoid screens before bedtime.

Artificial light from TV and computer screens affects melatonin production and throws off circadian rhythms, which messes with your sleep. Studies have found that young adults were more likely to suffer from sleep disorders, high stress and even depression if they reported intensive use of cell phones and computers at night.

3. Eat a banana.

Potassium helps your body regulate blood pressure. Keeping that under control should help you bounce back more quickly from what’s got you stressed.

4. Indulge in some citrus.

Still hungry after that chocolate and banana? Try citrus. Recent studies show that vitamin C helps to alleviate the physical and psychological effects of stress.

5. Listen to classical music.

Portrait of a beautiful young woman lying on sofa with headphones on and closed eyes, relaxing
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Any music you enjoy is bound to make you feel better, but classical music, in particular, has been shown to slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and even decrease levels of stress hormones.

6. Drink green tea sweetened with honey.

Green tea contains L-theanine, which reduces stress, and honey—unlike cane sugar—has been shown to counteract free radicals and reduce inflammation, which is sometimes linked to depression.

7. Give yourself a hand massage.

Especially if you spend all day typing, hands can get really tense. A quick massage should be doable at your desk and if you incorporate some lavender-scented lotion, you’ll get extra relaxation benefits.

8. Lock lips with someone.

Romance is relaxing! Kissing releases oxytocin, a chemical that is shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

9. Chew some gum.

No matter what flavor it is, the act of chewing gum has been proven to lower cortisol and improve reported mood.

10. Blow up a balloon.

Young woman blowing up a blue balloon against a yellow background
Deagreez/iStock via Getty Images

Reacting to stress with short, shallow breaths will only exacerbate the problem—your body needs more oxygen, not less, to relax. Blowing up a balloon will help you refocus on your breathing. No balloons around? Just concentrate on taking a few deep breaths.

11. Mow the lawn.

Research shows that a chemical released by a mowed lawn—that fresh-cut grass smell—makes people feel happy and relaxed. Plus, knocking it off your to-do list will give you one less thing to stress about.

12. Find something to make you laugh.

Watching a funny video online does more than just brighten your afternoon, it physically helps to relax you by increasing the endorphins released by your brain.

13. Grab some chocolate.

What’s also good at releasing endorphins? Chocolate. Studies show that even just 40 grams of dark chocolate a day can help you de-stress.

14. Focus on relaxing all of your muscles.

Take a break from whatever you’re doing and, starting at your toes and working upwards, spend a few moments slowly tensing, and then releasing, the muscles of each part of your body.

15. Take a mental vacation.

Man takes a break from work to meditate at his laptop
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If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, take a moment to close your eyes and picture a particularly relaxing scene. It may sound cheesy, but numerous studies show that just a few minutes of disengaging from your stressors rejuvenates your ability to tackle the work.

5 Fascinating Facts About Middle Children

francisgonsa/iStock via Getty Images
francisgonsa/iStock via Getty Images

Full House's perpetually neglected Stephanie Tanner, The Brady Bunch's embittered Jan Brady, Downton Abbey's tragedy-prone Lady Edith Crawley: For many people, these are the images that pop into their heads when thinking of the stereotypical middle child. In TV shows and movies, they’re often used as comic relief, always stuck in the shadow of their other, seemingly more important siblings. But the reality is far more generous to middle children.

Studies have shown that middle children are exceedingly independent and creative, with certain leadership qualities that their firstborn and last-born counterparts can’t match. Some of our most important world leaders, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs occupy this oft-mocked middle spot, but from most accounts, it’s a breeding ground for success. Here are five fascinating facts about middle children.

1. Middle children may be endangered.

There was a time during the first half of the 20th century when having three to four children was seen as the ideal number for parents, with 35 percent of moms between 40 and 44 having four children or more. Those numbers have been reversing for several decades—and now, the average American family consists of 3.14 people. On top of that, only 12 percent of women in their early forties have four children or more.

More people are going to college, taking longer to become financially settled, have easier access to birth control, and are embarking on demanding careers that put family life on the back burner. In addition to having children later in life, the average cost of raising a child has increased dramatically over the generations, so one or two kids might be all some couples can afford. These factors all add up to create smaller families, which means we’ll likely see fewer middle children throughout the country in future decades if these trends continue. And without them, we’ll lose out on all of the remarkable traits seen below.

2. Middle children can have first-rate negotiation skills.

Despite the common perception of middle children being resentful of their siblings and never getting enough attention from their parents, Katrin Schumann, co-author of The Secret Power of Middle Children, has done extensive research on the subject that found the plight of middle children may actually be a positive thing later in life. One such trait is their ability to negotiate.

“Middles are used to not getting their own way, and so they become savvy, skillful manipulators,” Schumann told Psychology Today. “They can see all sides of a question and are empathetic and judge reactions well. They are more willing to compromise, and so they can argue successfully. Since they often have to wait around as kids, they’re more patient.”

3. Their low self-esteem might not necessarily be a bad thing.

Yes, the middle child may suffer from low self-esteem when compared to their siblings, due to their “their lack of uniqueness and attention at home,” according to Schumann. However, this doesn’t have to be a negative thing as it helps keep their ego in check.

“Also, self-esteem is not as critical as our society believes,” Schumann explained. “Having an accurate sense of your self-esteem is more important than having high self-esteem. Surprisingly, new studies show that high self-esteem does not correlate with better grades in school or greater success in life. It can actually lead to a lack of perseverance in the face of difficulties.”

4. Middle children tend to be faithful in their relationships.

Dr. Catherine Salmon, Schumann's co-author on The Secret Power of Middle Children, found that 80 percent of middle children claimed they have never cheated on their partner. This is compared to 65 percent of firstborns and 53 percent of last-borns who said they were never unfaithful to their long-term partner or spouse. This, of course, led to separate studies confirming that middle children, and their spouses, were happiest in marriage when compared to other birth orders.

There is a catch, however: Schumann said that while middle children may be the happiest and make for satisfied partners, two middle children might not make an ideal match: "An Israeli marital happiness survey shows that middles are the happiest and most satisfied in relationships, and that they partner well with firsts or lasts—but less well with other middles, because they may both avoid conflict."

5. Some of history's most important leaders were middle children.

Though the conventional numbers have established that most U.S. presidents are firstborns, Schumann contends that half of our Commanders-in-Chief are actually middle children. In an interview with NPR, she revealed that the connection between the presidency and middle children was obscured for years because of one strange quirk: firstborn girls weren’t traditionally counted as older siblings. Instead, firstborns were only taken into consideration when it came to males.

In general, it's difficult to nail down certain presidential birth orders, as the middle child blog SmackDab puts it: "George Washington’s father had four children with his first wife before the first President was born. Washington was the first of six children from his father’s second marriage. So was he the first born or the fifth born?" Still, if we're to take conventional wisdom and a loose definition of what a middle child is (basically anyone not the oldest or the youngest), then it turns out that 52 percent of presidents were born in the middle, including Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln.

It's JFK in particular, Schumann concluded, who displayed many of the traits typical of a middle child during his years in office, citing his ability to communicate and negotiate even under the most stressful of conditions.

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