Ides of March Today: What Is It?

Friday has arrived with the Ides of March along with the warning, "beware," but what does it mean?

It was on the 15th day of the month of March that Julius Caesar was killed- the Roman leader was stabbed 23 times in 44 B.C. The murder resulted in the annual observation of the Ides of March, which arrives with superstition and warning, "beware of the Ides of March," taken from Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar."

However, ahead of Shakespeare's play, Romans had long heeded the Ides of March with caution. Ahead of Caesar's assassination, "Ides" was a term that referred to the middle of the month, and Romans considered it a sacred time to the god Jupiter. Back then, it was a legal public holiday where public businesses closed, employees, and even slaves refrained from work.

Later, following Caesar's murder at the hand of Marcus Brutus and other conspirators, the date became shrouded in superstitious beliefs and the warning to watch out for backstabbers.

People around the globe are observing the Ides of March, and some are celebrating. In Canada, the day is celebrated by drinking a "Bloody Caesar" cocktail that is comprised of vodka, Clamato (tomato juice blended with clam broth), Worcestershire sauce, and served with a celery stalk and wedge of lime.

Twitter users are also remembering the ominous day in history by posting messages about the Ides of March, which has become a trending topic on the social media site Friday.

"Happy Ides of March," posted Craig. "Well, unless you're Caesar."

Another Twitter user joked, "Sadly, though my name is Brutus, the closest I'll get to a proper Ides of March is stabbing my knife into a Caesar salad."

"Beware the Ides of March," warned Eric.

McDonalds Corp wrote, "The Ides of March are upon us. I think a #ShamrockShake might help ease them in!"