Monday, March 15, is the Ides of March – which in the Roman calendar was a day for religious observances and settling debts, marking the end of the new year festivities that began early in March and the beginning of a holy period that would culminate in the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring. (Every month had ides, noting the full moon on the 13th, except for March, May, July and October, when the ides fell on the 15th.)
The Ides of March, however, became infamous as the day on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. – a scene often dramatized in the arts, most notably in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”
So “beware the Ides of March,” as a soothsayer warns Caesar in Shakespeare’s play. Or celebrate them.
– Georgette Gouveia