Dog Days of August I: History Lesson 1

It never ceases to amaze me how many things that we take for granted as being totally normal, find their origins from ancient times. It makes you think that what you do each day really does have significance even if it may seem monotonous at times. Take for instance the title of this post, The Dog Days of August (or Summer). Where did that come from and what the heck does it mean? According to Wikipedia:

The Romans referred to the “Dog Days” as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the “Dog Star” because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius is also the brightest star in the night sky. The term “Dog Days” was used earlier by the Greeks.

The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as the sun (which however is no longer true). The Romans sacrificed a red dog in August to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

Aren’t you happy you were born as a human being in this day and age where we aren’t just sacrificing animals to appease the weather? And aren’t you especially thankful that you weren’t born a red dog in Rome 2000 years ago? And aren’t you happy that when you’re thirsty on a road trip you can enjoy a Slurpee as opposed to the featured drink in the hysterical dog video below?

Enjoy your day! I hope what you do with your time proves to be memorable for everyone in your life!

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One thought on “Dog Days of August I: History Lesson

  • Anna Walsh

    Wonderful! I always wondered where that saying came from. Now I know. Thanks for brightening up my day with this inspiring and comical blog entry. Keep ’em coming.