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The March Hare

March Madness

Mar 30

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"The March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad – at least not so mad as it was in March."

~ Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865

We're all mad about dancing, no matter the month! As we eagerly await the arrival of the Easter Bunny, let's not forget about its spirited relative, the wild hare! The phrase "mad as a March hare" originates from old English folklore, capturing the peculiar antics of hares during their breeding season in March. This is when hares, particularly the males, engage in a dramatic display of chasing and boxing each other on their hind legs! Hares in folklore are often depicted as tricksters, with a reputation for their clever and unpredictable nature. This sprightly reel for three couples by Michael Bentley gives plenty of opportunity to chase round the set and face your partner for a quick hello and goodbye (but no boxing, please) in an overall mad dash! But fear not, the Easter Bunny is much less belligerent and known to bring treats! 🐇🐇 🐇 🌼 🌺 🗓️

The March Hare

Wild hares are fascinating creatures, particularly noted for their enigmatic behavior during the month of March, which has deeply rooted itself in folklore and natural observation. March is a pivotal time for these animals, marking the breeding season, when the balance between day and night shifts with the vernal equinox, and nature stirs from its winter slumber. It's during this period that one of the most peculiar and widely recognized behaviors occurs—hare boxing. 

This spectacle, often misconstrued as male battles for mating rights, is actually a display where females fend off overly persistent males. The female hare, or doe, uses her forepaws to strike the male, or buck, in a bid to test his strength and resolve or to signal that she is not yet ready to mate. 

The image of boxing hares has been immortalized in art, literature, and mythology, serving as a powerful emblem of vitality, fertility, and the cyclical nature of life. Legends and tales often depict these creatures with attributes of cunning, wit, and elusiveness, qualities that mirror their real-life behavior. Moreover, the March hare, popularized by Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," embodies the unpredictable and sometimes frenetic energy of hares during this season, further cementing their place in cultural lore. 

For more about this springtime display, click the March Hares!

The March Hare

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The March Hare

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