The name of March comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and called Martius after Mars, the Roman god of war. In Rome, where the climate is Mediterranean, March is the first month of spring, a logical point for the beginning of the year as well as the start of the military campaign season. The numbered year began on March 1 in Russia until the end of the fifteenth century. Great Britain and her colonies continued to use March 25 until 1752, the same year they finally adopted the Gregorian calendar. Many other cultures and religions still celebrate the beginning of the New Year in March.
In Finnish, the month is called maaliskuu, which originates from maallinen kuu meaning earthy month. This is because in maaliskuu earth started to show from under the snow. Historical names for March include Saxon: Lenctmonat, named for the equinox and eventual lengthening of days and the eventual namesake of w:Lent. Saxons also called March Rhed-monat or Hreth-monath (for their goddess w:Rhedam/w:Hreth), and w:Angles called it Hyld-monath