Ides of March: Five Reasons to Embrace It

PHOTO: A painting by Carl Piloty illustrates March 15, 44 BC, the murder of Julius Caesar in the senate of Rome.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While March 15, 44 B.C., ended poorly for Julius Caesar, not everyone needs to heed the ominous warning uttered by a soothsayer in William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" to foreshadow the emperor's death in the Third Act.

Despite its fictional roots, the phrase "Beware the Ides of March" has given the date a bad name ever since. As winter recedes this year, however, it's worth embracing the ides (or approximate middle) as a time of triumph rather than foreboding. After all, the sky isn't really supposed to fall until the Mayan calendar flips to Dec. 21.

The Ides of March

PHOTO: In this Dec. 1, 2008 file photo, the moon is illuminated in close proximity to Venus and Jupiter during a display of planetary occultation, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Venus, Jupiter and Earth's moon converge again March 12, and 13, 2012.
Sayyid Azim/AP Photo
Venus-Jupiter Conjunction

Even the universe is celebrating today as Venus and Jupiter tango for a co-called conjunction in the evening sky. During this celestial event, the two planets appear side by side, even though they are actually millions and millions of miles apart. They will delight stargazers everywhere for several more days.

The Ides of March

PHOTO: The NCAA logo on the basketball court is seen during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
March Madness

A different group of stargazers will set their sights on college basketball today for the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. But it, too, will thrill observers beyond the Ides of March.

The Ides of March

PHOTO: The dessert Pears Helene, is shown.
Getty Images
Pears Helene Day

What's basketball and "dancing" planets without something to snack on while taking it all in. March 15 is Pears Helene Day, when you'd be wise to go straight to dessert: poached pears; vanilla; sugar; cinnamon; chocolate sauce, optional.

The Ides of March

PHOTO: The website www.symbolics.com, the first domain ever registered, is shown March 13, 2012.
Symbolics.com
Internet Domain Names

March 15 also marks the registration of the first Internet domain name, Symbolics.com., in 1985. Celebrate by losing yourself in the Internet or filling in your online college basketball tournament brackets.

The Ides of March

PHOTO: An early portrait of the Cincinnati Reds outfield standing in the dugout, Crosley Field, Cincinnati, 1939.
George Rosenthal/Cincinnati Museum Center/Getty Images
Professional Baseball

Basketball not your sport? Not to worry because today marks the birth of the U.S. "national pastime," March 15, 1869, when the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first all-professional baseball team. Celebrate with a box of Cracker Jacks, which apparently are not quite as old as the Reds.

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