Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Chalk this one up to the old saying, "you learn something new every day." I was originally going to write a blog post opening with some thing along the lines of, "In these dog days of summer ..." and then realized, I wasn't sure when the dog days actually are.  I just thought of it has some time in late July through August when it's really hot and humid. The paradoxical time when summer seems to drag because of the heat and when summer seems to have rushed by because you realize September is right around the corner. So wanting to find the answer as to when the Dog Days are, I, of course, researched it.

When is not nearly as fascinating as how the term "Dog Days" came about.  I thought it was something recent, but oh, no.  The term "Dog Days" has existed since Ancient Roman times.  Yep, the Romans gave something else that still exists.  The Romans associated the hot weather with the star, Sirius, the Dog Star, named as such because it is the largets star in the constellation Canis Major, aka Large Dog.

For the Ancient Romans, the Dog Days ran from July 24 to August 24. In later times, the period was pushed back or pushed up, depending on the culture or what calendar was used.  I like the Roman version, even if we account for the fact that we use the Gregorian rather than Julian calendar today.  Late July through August seems about right.

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