Friday, March 15, 2013

Beware the Ides of March!

After extensive research (aka two minutes on Wikipedia), I learned something new about the Ides of March.  March isn’t the only month with an Ides, in fact, every month has an Ides.  It is the midpoint of the month, according to the Roman calendar.  During March, May, July and October it falls on the 15th, but it is on the 13th for every other month of the year. 

The Ides of March holds special significance because that is when Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE.  It is also the day when our Canadian friends celebrate this event by drinking something called a “Bloody Caesar,” a mix of vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce, and clam juice (which sounds bloody awful).  I will have to confer with my Canadian friends to see if this is actually true.  I have a feeling they just drink beer.

The Ides of March is also the birthday of my Aunt Alvida, who is turning 83 today. Happy Birthday, Aunt Alvie!  It is the perfect birthday for a wonderful Italian lady, and I love the twinkle she gets in her eyes when she says, “My birthday in on the Ides of March.”

The Ides of March feels mysterious and dangerous and ancient.  That has as much to do with Caesar’s death as it does with the prophesy surrounding his death.  Primitive people relied on omens and prophesy in order to feel more secure about a world they could barely understand.  So why does the Ides of March still affect us today?

Deep in our hearts, we are just like those old Romans.  In spite of science and technology and all we have learned, we are still a little afraid of the dark.  Some of us are more superstitious than others, but many people are uncomfortable at the idea of a black cat crossing their path or a broken mirror.  There might not be any logic to it, but these things are somehow ingrained in our nature.   

The Ides are really just the "over the hump day" of the month.  That should be something we look forward to and celebrate, unless of course we are talking about the Ides of February, especially if it falls on a Friday.

Beware the Ides of Friday the 13th!    Now that does sound kind of scary.


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