From exploring why we celebrate turning one year older to discovering birthday traditions around the world, the series “All About Birthdays” brings you fun facts about the day we all celebrate.
Bringing with it a long-awaited change of seasons and reawakening of nature, March is an especially refreshing month. Flowers are beginning to bloom in fields, leaves are sprouting on branches, and the birds who migrated south for the winter are returning north, singing along the way. Daylight saving time returns with an extra hour of priceless daylight. This is especially enjoyed by parents ready to let the kids run in circles somewhere other than the living room. Excitement abounds in the sports world: college basketball enthralls fans for three weeks straight, while professional basketball and hockey barrel toward the playoffs.
March is a joyous time for all, but it turns out those born in March have even more reasons to celebrate.
March babies look on the bright side
A European study found that adults born in March tend to score higher on the hyperthymic scale, an evaluation of an individual’s general levels of optimism and positivity. On the other hand, those born in the winter months tend to score lower, making them more at risk for depression and seasonal affective disorders. March babies’ boosted moods seem to correspond with elevated vitamin D levels found among spring mothers — who tend to be exposed to extra sunshine, a huge source of the vitamin — late in their pregnancies. The extra natural light experienced by March moms also boosts their levels of light-dependent melatonin, which researchers have found can result in having taller children.
March produces sure-sighted leaders
Many born this month are destined to reach high levels, whether in executive offices or the skies themselves. A University of British Columbia study discovered that 12.5% of all CEOs from S&P 500 companies were born in March — the highest percentage of any birth month — while the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics found that March babies (the non-executive ones) are much more likely to become airplane pilots than those born in any other month. It certainly can’t hurt that they are likely to have great eyesight: A study of over 250,000 military candidates found March-born individuals experienced fewer vision problems throughout their lifetime than those born in summer or fall.
March birth flowers trumpet spring’s arrival
March’s birth flower, the bright and sunny daffodil, features a single trumpet-shaped bloom that projects news of spring’s return. Daffodils carry positive connotations across the globe: In Japan they represent joy; in France ambition; and in China, where they are the official symbol of Chinese New Year, good luck and pleasant surprises.
The gifting of daffodils has come to represent a belief in a true, lasting love that can survive bleak seasons of life, just as daffodil bulbs survive the freeze of winter. Legend has it that this flower must be gifted in bunches (we’ve got you covered!), as presenting just one daffodil is said to invite misfortune. One important reminder: Indoors, daffodils are best kept in their own vases, as their stems give forth a latex that can weaken and wilt other flowers placed in the same water.
The month’s second birth flower, the jonquil, is actually a specific type of daffodil, featuring multiple blooms per stem and a stronger, more sugary fragrance than single blooms. Both flowers carry the same meanings and traditions, but the scarcity and the extra-sweet scent of jonquils provide an additional level of charm. English Romantic age poet William Wordsworth often mused on daffodils in his works as a natural source of hope, and given the regions in which jonquils thrive, it is likely the flowers that captivated him were of this variety. In his personal diaries, third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson also wrote of being inspired every spring by the jonquils that bloomed at Monticello, his Charlottesville, Virginia, homestead.
March zodiac signs are pure and positive
Those born under Pisces (February 19 to March 20), the final sign in the zodiac, are a rare breed of idealists and dreamers, guided through life by personal intuition rather than society’s rules. A Pisces possesses personality elements from each zodiac sign, and, along with this universal nature, the ability to empathize with nearly everyone they meet. But along with this gift comes a weighty task: Pisces must actively balance their emotions with reason so as to not let floods of feelings drown out their rationality. Thankfully, others will be around to help them stay steady; the subtle vulnerability that Pisces project earns them loyal friends who recognize the purity and honesty of their hearts. Well-known Pisces include Rihanna, Kurt Cobain, Rashida Jones, Chris Martin, and Justin Bieber.
Atop the zodiac chart sits independent and courageous Aries (March 21 to April 20), a group whose eagerness perfectly embodies spring and nature’s re-awakening. Noticeably confident and optimistic, Aries lives life chomping at the bit for leadership opportunities — all positives, though the passionate “let’s get going” Aries attitude can rapidly transform into disruptive frustration when delays arise at home and work. Just like their symbol, the ram, Aries dive headfirst into challenges to gain momentum and force themselves to focus, an approach that can either yield unmatched productivity or, if not balanced with composure, simply result in a butting of heads. Lady Gaga, Leonardo da Vinci, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Robert Downey Jr. are all born under the sign of Aries.