Downstream Events Calendar March 2021

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Each Spring Season Celebrates Both The Past And The Present

Daylight Savings Time Begins: March 14

Downstream Events Calendar February 2021
Ohio Clock in the U.S. Capitol being turned forward for the country’s first daylight saving time
on March 31, 1918 by the Senate Sergeant at Arms Charles Higgins.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the system of uniform daylight saving time throughout the US. In the U.S., daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November, with the time changes taking place at 2:00 a.m. local time.

Daylight saving time in the United States is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour when there is longer daylight during day, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Most areas of the United States and Canada observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

With a mnemonic word play referring to seasons, clocks “spring forward, fall back”—that is, in springtime the clocks are moved forward from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. and in fall they are moved back from 2:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Daylight saving time lasts for a total of 34 weeks (238 days) every year, about 65 percent of the entire year.

History

Benjamin Franklin proposed a form of daylight time in 1784. Writing as an anonymous “subscriber”, his tongue-in-cheek essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”, written to the editor of The Journal of Paris, observed that Parisians could save on candles by getting out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead.

By his calculations, the total savings by the citizens of Paris would be the approximate equivalent of $200 million today. Franklin’s suggestion seems to have been more of a joke than a real proposal, and nothing came of it.

2015–2019: DST Year-Round Proposals

An entire movement has been organized in support of the legalization of using daylight saving time as the year-round clock option. Bills have been introduced in more than 30 states to end DST or make it permanent.

The main argument for introducing year-round DST is that the lifestyles and work patterns of modern-day citizens are no longer compatible with the concept of shifting the clock every spring and fall. Supporters also argue that switching to ”Forward Time” would also result in saving energy by reducing the need for artificial light.

The Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Marco Rubio (R) of Florida to make the times used for DST standard time and abolish DST.

Time In Arizona

Arizona observed DST in 1967 under the Uniform Time Act because the state legislature did not enact an exemption statute that year. In March 1968 the DST exemption statute was enacted and the state of Arizona has not observed DST since 1967. This is in large part intended to conserve energy. Phoenix and Tucson are among the hottest U.S. metropolitan areas during the summer, resulting in more power usage from air conditioning units and evaporative coolers in homes and businesses. An extra hour of sunlight while people are active would cause people to run their cooling systems longer, thereby using more energy.

The Navajo Indian Reservation extends into Utah and New Mexico and observes daylight saving time to coordinate tribal affairs. The Hopi Reservation is entirely within the state of Arizona and is an enclave within the Navajo Indian Reservation, but does not observe DST.

Saint Patrick’s Day: March 17

Downstream Events Calendar March 2021
A stained glass window depicts Saint Patrick dressed in a green robe with a halo about his head, holding a shamrock in his right hand and a staff in his left. Photo Courtesy Andreas F. Barchert.

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, lit. ‘the Day of the Festival of Patrick’), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. 385 – c. 461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Downstream Events Calendar March 2021
Good Friday (Our Lady of Lourdes, Philadelphia)
Communion from the Blessed Sacrament on Good Friday Photo Courtesy J.D. Treat.

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.

Downstream Events Calendar February 2021
According to legend, Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.

Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilís, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

North America

Montreal hosts one of the longest-running and largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades in North America. One of the longest-running and largest Saint Patrick’s Day (French: le jour de la Saint-Patrick) parades in North America occurs each year in Montreal, whose city flag includes a shamrock in its lower-right quadrant. The yearly celebration has been organized by the United Irish Societies of Montreal since 1929. The parade has been held yearly without interruption since 1824. St Patrick’s Day itself, however, has been celebrated in Montreal since as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team was known as the Toronto St. Patricks from 1919 to 1927, and wore green jerseys. In 1999, when the Maple Leafs played on St Patrick’s Day, they wore green St Patrick’s retro uniforms. Some groups, notably Guinness, have lobbied to make Saint Patrick’s Day a national holiday.

Downstream Events Calendar February 2021
Astronaut Chris Hadfield wearing green in the International Space Station on Saint Patrick’s Day, 2013

In March 2009, the Calgary Tower changed its top exterior lights to new green CFL bulbs just in time for St Patrick’s Day. Part of an environmental non-profit organization’s campaign (Project Porchlight), the green represented environmental concerns. Approximately 210 lights were changed in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, and resembled a Leprechaun’s hat. After a week, white CFLs took their place. The change was estimated to save the Calgary Tower some $12,000 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 104 tonnes.

Downstream Events Calendar 2021
Photo Courtesy Matthew T. Rader.

Saint Patrick’s Day, while not a legal holiday in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognized and observed throughout the country as a celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, religious observances, numerous parades, and copious consumption of alcohol. The holiday has been celebrated in what is now the U.S since 1601.

In 2020, for the first time in over 250 years, the parade in New York City, the largest in the world, was postponed due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passover: March 27

Downstream Events Calendar February 2021
Photo Courtesy Datafox

Passover (Hebrew: פסח, Pesach‎) is a religious holiday or festival noted by ceremonies each year, mostly by Jewish people. They celebrate it to remember when God used Moses to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as told in the book of Exodus in the Bible. God told Moses to set aside this special week originally called “the feast of unleavened bread”. During this time, the people eat special foods, do special rituals and sing songs. Passover is around the time of Easter (March/April) each year.

Palm Sunday: March 28

Downstream Events Calendar March 2021
Photo Courtesy Pietro Lorenzetti

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Week, the last week of the Christian solemn season of Lent that precedes the arrival of Eastertide.

In most liturgical churches, Palm Sunday is celebrated by the blessing and distribution of palm branches (or the branches of other native trees), representing the palm branches which the crowd scattered in front of Christ as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, olive, willow, and yew. The Sunday was often named after these substitute trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.

Downstream Events Calendar March 2021
Icon of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by and unknown 17th century Bulgarian artist.

Many churches of mainstream Christian denominations, including the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Moravian and Reformed traditions, distribute palm branches to their congregations during their Palm Sunday liturgies. Christians take these palms, which are often blessed by clergy, to their homes where they hang them alongside Christian art (especially crosses and crucifixes) or keep them in their Bibles or devotionals.

In the period preceding the next year’s Lent, known as Shrovetide, churches often place a basket in their narthex to collect these palms, which are then ritually burned on Shrove Tuesday to make the ashes to be used on the following day, Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent.

Good Friday: April 2

Downstream Events Calendar March 2021
Antonio Ciseri’s depiction of Ecce Homo with Jesus and Pontius Pilate.

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday (also Holy and Great Friday), and Black Friday.

Members of many Christian denominations, including the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Oriental Orthodox and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services.

The date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a widely instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12  U.S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

Easter: April 4

Downstream Events Calendary March 2021
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ fresco by Piero della Francesca, 1463

Easter, also called Pascha (Aramaic, Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as “Holy Week”, which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.

In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension.

Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the Sun; rather, its date is offset from the date of Passover and is therefore calculated based on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover (Hebrew: פֶּסַח pesach, Aramaic: פָּסחָא pascha) by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages; and in the older English versions of the Bible, the term “Easter” was the term used to translate passover.

Downstream Events Calendar March 2021
Photo Courtesy Jan Kamenicek

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide.

Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades.There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.

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