Italian Word of the Day: Marzo (March)

Yesterday was the first day of March (il primo giorno di marzo) and that means that spring is only a few weeks away! 🙂

IPA: /màr·zo/

Marzo is the third month (terzo mese) of the year according to the Julian and Gregorian calendars. As is the case with all months of the year, marzo isn’t capitalised in Italian as it is in English.

A marzo comincia a fare più caldo in Italia.

In March it starts to get warmer in Italy.

The star sign (segno zodiacale) for those born in marzo is either Pesci (Pisces) if you were born between March 1st and March 20th or Ariete (Aries) if you were born after the 20th.

Did you know that?
The words March and marzo come from the Latin term for the month: Martius or mensis Martius. In addition to being the first month of the ancient Roman year until as late as 153 BC, it was also one of the few Roman months named for a deity, Mars (Marte).

March 1st is also the first day of the Venetian New Year (Il Capodanno Veneto). Back in the medieval times, before the arrival of the Roman liturgical calendar, people relied on an early Roman calendar connected with the cycles of nature. According to this calendar, the new year would officially begin when the farmers returned to their fields and the land came back to life.

In Venice, the switch to the liturgical calendar occurred during the French conquest in 1797 and wasn’t celebrated publicly again until just a few years ago, in 2015. If you want to find out more about this festival, I highly suggest reading Dream Discover Italia‘s excellent blog post.

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