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Events of the Month

2003-MARCH


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March is Women's history month. This year's theme is "Women pioneering the future" 1


  • MAR-1: This is the fourth anniversary of the landmine ban treaty. Sixty-four countries have not ratified the convention, including the U.S. 2,3
  • MAR-1: The International Death Penalty Abolition Day will be observed. Amnesty International groups around the world conduct events and actions in an attempt to persuade countries to abandon the death penalty. 3
  • MAR-1: This is St. David's day. Saint David, or Dewi Sant as he is known in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales. "He was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who lived in the sixth century. During his life, he was the archbishop of Wales, and he was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain." 5
  • MAR-2: Four Chaplain's Sunday is a Christian/Jewish Interfaith celebration. It recalls an event during World War II when four Chaplains, both Jews and Christians gave away their life jackets to soldiers when a troop ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • MAR-3: This is the third day of the third month, of the third year, of the third millennium, CE. Some New Agers have planned an experiment into global consciousness for this day. It is scheduled to begin at 03:33 local time in Figi. The conservative Christian World Prayer Center recommends that Christian churches and individuals pray for three minutes at 3:33 PM local time to pray that war in the Iraq can be avoided. If war does happen, they suggest praying that it does not trigger World War III, and that no weapons of mass destruction are used.
  • MAR-5: This is Ash Wednesday for Western Christians. Lent begins. It is a period of fasting and spiritual pursuit, leading up to Easter Sunday on APR-20.
  • MAR-5: Pope John Paul II has called for a day of peace today. He is concerned that the world is being held hostage by what he calls the "logic of war." On 2003-FEB-23, he said: "The future of humanity should never be tied down by terrorism and the logic of war. Never, never, never!" 7
  • MAR-5: Muslims observe Muharram on this day. It is their New Years, the first day of the first lunar month.
  • MAR-7: This is observed as the World Day of Prayer by some Christians on the first Friday of March. It "is a worldwide movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service." 6 This year's theme is "Holy Spirit, Fill Us." This is sometimes confused with the Roman Catholic World Day of Prayer for Vocations which will be held in 2003 on MAY-11.
  • MAR-8: This is International Women's Day. It was created by the Socialist Party of America, on 1909-FEB-28. It has since become an international day of celebration.
  • MAR-10: This is the First Day of the Great Fast (Lent) for Eastern Orthodox Christians.
  • MAR-13: Muslims observe the fast of 'Ashura. It recalls an event circa 680-OCT-20 CE in Iraq when an army of the Umayyad regime martyred a group of 70 individuals who refused to submit to the Caliph. One of the martyrs was Imam Husain, the youngest grandson of Prophet Muhammad. The day is also associated with the safe landing of Noah's Ark.
  • MAR-14: This is the Sikh New Year's Day for the year 535 on the Nanakshahi calendar.
  • MAR-17: Christians celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Many people, even those without any Irish ancestry, wear green on this day.
  • MAR-20: Wiccans and many other Neopagans celebrate Spring Equinox (a.k.a. Eostre, Ostara and Vernal Equinox) on or about MAR-21 at 01:00 GMT (MAR-20 at: 20:00 PM EST). It is a time to enjoy the rebirth of life after winter. It is a time of balance when daytime and nighttime are both 12 hours in duration.
  • MAR-21: Members of the Baha'i Faith celebrate Naw Ruz -- the first day of their year. It is year 158 BE by their calendar.
  • MAR-21: Zoroastrians, with the exception of those living in India, celebrate  Norooz (New Years) on this day -- the nominal date for the Spring Equinox. It is celebrated with many symbols indicating re-growth and renewal.
  • MAR-25: Roman Catholics celebrate The Annunciation. It is associated with Gabriel's statement to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and bear a son, Jesus.
  • MAR-28: Jews observe Purim Purim, in memory of the defeat of a genocide of Jews in Persia, as described in the book of Esther in the Hebrew Scriptures.

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Events in early April:

  • APR-7: This is considered the probable date of Jesus' execution, in the year 30 CE. Another likely date was 33-APR-3.

Although care was taken in the preparation of this list, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or their consequences.


References:

  1. The National Women's History Project is at:  http://www.nwhp.org/whm/themes
  2. "Treaty update," International Campaign to Ban Landmines, at: http://www.icbl.org/treaty/
  3. A more current source of information on the Land Mine treaty is at: http://www.mines.gc.ca/convention-en.asp
  4. The home page of Amnesty International USA is at: http://www.amnesty-usa.org/
  5. Rhys James Jones, "Saint David and Saint David's Day," at: http://www.sucs.org/~rhys/stdavid.html
  6. "World Day of Prayer," at: http://www.worlddayofprayer.net/
  7. "Pope Calls for Day of Peace on March 5," Reuters, at: http://abcnews.go.com/wire/

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Copyright © 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Essay prepared on 2003-FEB-3
Latest update: 2003-MAR-4
Compiled by B.A. Robinson

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