March 2012 NaHaiWriMo Writing Prompts

 

Selected by Judith Gorgone

 

1

It’s March! The plum is associated with the start of spring, because plum blossoms are some of the first blossoms to open during the year. In the Tokyo area, they typically flower in February and March. The event is celebrated with plum festivals (ume matsuri) in public parks, shrines, and temples across the country. Write about plum blossoms.

2

Did you know March 2 is “Old Stuff Day”? Write about something old.

3

March 3 in Japan is Doll’s Festival (hina matsuri). It’s also called girl’s festival. Today’s prompt is doll.

4

Four, which is pronounced as “shi” in Japanese (Nihongo), is a homophone for death. It’s also considered unlucky, hence the reason why everything comes in a set of five in Japan! Write about someone’s death.

5

Love this one! Did you know that March 5 is “Multiple Personality Day”? Write about two sides of yourself or someone else.

6

March 6 is Frozen Food Day (really!). Write about food—frozen, fresh, cooked, or not.

7

For Christians, March 7 marks the second week of Lent, which began on February 22. Lent is the season of penance and prayer before Easter. It is called Lent because it derives from the Old English word for spring, the season of the year during which it falls (in the Northern hemisphere). In almost all other languages its name derives from the Latin term quadragesima, or “the forty days.” During this time, traditional Christians fast for 40 days. Write about fasts or diets.

8

It’s the full moon! Ancient full moon names for March are Fish Moon, Sleepy Moon, Windy Moon, Big Famine Moon, Moon of Winds, Moon When Eyes are Sore from Bright Snow, Chaste Moon, and Death Moon. Using one of these names, Write about the moon.

9

The number “9” is pronounced “kyu” or “ku” which is used differently depending on the situation. The sound “ku” has the same pronunciation as a Japanese word that means pain or suffering. Write about something painful.

10

The Japanese word for ten also means “sky” or “heaven.” Write about the sky or heaven.

11

Don’t ask me why, but March 11 is “Worship of Tools Day.” Write about a tool. A pencil, your markers, computer, paintbrush, hammer . . . you get the idea!

12

March 12 is the first day of Daylight Saving Time (in the United States it begins Sunday, March 11, 2012, at 2:00 a.m., and ends on Sunday, November 4, 2012, at 2:00 a.m.). Did you know Daylight Saving Time was first implemented by Benjamin Franklin? Remember the adage to “Spring forward, fall back.” During DST, clocks are turned forward an hour in the spring, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Write about time or clocks.

13

On March 13 and 14, 2012, there is an unusual astrology alignment with two exact “grand trines.” The planets in a triangular shape are Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Pluto. Some astrologers consider these particular trines extremely fortunate and a time for big opportunities. Write about the stars.

14

March 14 is White Day in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. In these countries, on Valentine’s Day (February 14), only women give gifts to men. Men, in return, give gifts to women they love on White Day. Romantic gifts such as cakes, chocolates, or lingerie are bestowed. Write about a romantic gift.

15

It’s the Ides of March. The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,” has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression “Ides of March” did not necessarily evoke a dark mood—it was simply the standard way of saying “March 15.” Write about the Ides of March.

16

In astronomy, a lunar occultation of Pluto occurs today. This is the first time this has happened since January 19, 1935. Occultations will occur every month from today until August 17, 2013. An occultation is when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer. Not only that, but Pluto is associated in astrology with hidden and secret things, often deeply buried, perhaps in the mind. Write about something hidden.

17

St. Patrick’s Day started out as a religious holiday commemorating Saint Patrick. Many traditions and symbols are associated with St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. One, of course, is “the luck of the Irish.” Write about luck.

18

Today is Sunday, a day that reserved for time with family and friends, togetherness, and recreation. In my family, we traditionally had Sunday dinner together. Write about Sunday, present or past.

19

March 19 is “National Quilting Day,” which celebrates quilts and those who make them. Write about arts and crafts.

20

March 20 is the Vernal equinox, symbolic of changing seasons. As people welcome spring on the north side of the equator, people south of the equator are gearing up for the cooler temperatures of autumn. Translated literally, equinox means “equal night.” Because the sun is positioned directly above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes. Write about change.

21

March 21, 1969 was the date of the first International Earth Day, also called Sun-Earth Day. Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Write about nature.

22

March 22 is World Water Day, which spotlights how the world uses water, its effect on our planet, and ways we can conserve it. This year’s World Water Day theme is “Powering our future with weather, climate, and water.” Write about water.

23

Each year on 23 March, the World Meteorological Organization and the worldwide meteorological community celebrates World Meteorological Day around a chosen theme. Write about the weather.

24

March 24 is National Covered Raisin Day. How sweet is that? Candy comes to mind, so write about sweets.

25

Today is the Christian Feast of the Annunciation. The Annunciation has been a key topic in Christian art in general, as well as in Roman Catholic Marian art (relating to Mary, mother of Jesus), particularly during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Write about a religious ceremony.

26

It’s National Cherry Blossom Festival Day! It’s a big day for flower festivals around the world, particularly in Japan. Write about cherry blossoms (sakura) or flower viewing (hanami).

27

Today is World Theatre Day, which honors the artistic accomplishment of theatre and promotes theatre appreciation and education regarding theatre arts. Write about theatre or drama.

28

It’s spring in the northern hemisphere. “Springtime” refers to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal, and regrowth. Write about growing.

29

The cartoon “Mutt and Jeff” debuted on March 29, 1908. “Mutt and Jeff,” was the first comic strip to appear daily with the same protagonists, and appeared in William Randolph Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner. Write about something comical.

30

The pencil was patented on March 30, 1858. The first pencil with an eraser top was patented by Hyman Lipman. The pencil is still a great tool! It was the first to tool that allowed us to write and rewrite. Write about writing.