25 March in ancient Rome also had connection to things female, a celebration called Hilaria. As a general term, Hilaria covered several types of anniversary or joyous personal occasions. There was also a more general Hilaria celebrated on 25 March "the eighth day before the Kalends of April, in honor of Cybele, the mother of the gods. The day of its celebration was the first after the vernal equinox, or the first day of the year which was longer than the night. The winter with its gloom had died, and the first day of a better season was spent in rejoicings."
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, two highly anticipated cases that deal with the Affordable Care Act, religious freedom and women's access to contraception. The case won't be decided Tuesday, but we could get a clear indication of which way the justices are leaning.My own thoughts on the Hobby Lobby case are in a 2012 post, HERE.
Back to Lady Day...
Lady Day was adopted in Britain and Ireland as one of four Quarter Days. These were days when servants were hired, and rents and rates were due. They fell on four religious festivals roughly three months apart and close to the two solstices and two equinoxes.
Lady Day (25 March); Midsummer Day (24 June); Michaelmas (29 September); Christmas (25 December). In the UK, the tax year still begins around Lady Day (actually 6 April to 5 April) a relic of the traditional Quarter Days.
Lady Day, 25 March, was also New Year's Day in England until 1752 when a crossover from the Julian to Gregorian calendar took place, moving New Year's Day to first of January. When I worked with a County Archivist long ago, I had to carefully remember, when dealing with documents from before 1752, which were dated January, February or March(up to 25), to catalogue them as, for example, 16 March 1714/5.
(See here - for further detail on the history of calendars).
"Calendar is a word that comes from Latin calendarium, or account book, and is derived from calendae or the calends, the first day of all of the old Roman months. This was the day on which accounts were due and on which the priests of Rome called the people together to proclaim (calare) that the new moon had been sighted.Also, it has to be said that religion has always played a major part in defining calendars throughout the world.
Calendars generally have been based on some combination of celestial observation and observance of the pattern of human activities and rituals. Despite all of the astronomical dilemmas (lunar, solar, seasonal, etc.), we have arrived at our present Gregorian calendar because of the astronomical and political skills of many generations."
Sidelight: "Lady Day" was also the nickname of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, who, though not born on this day, was born with Sun in Aries (7 April 1915.....chart and biography at Astrodatabank's Wiki, here. )