Saturday, July 2, 2011

1894 Dog Days of Summer

Have you every really known the reason why we call July and August the "dog days of summer?" I guess I have but never bothered to find out why -- just thought it was because it was so hot (usually) that even the dogs just want to lie around. Well, I came across the following article, which was re-published in 1974 in The Fowlerville Review from the State Republican:

These are the dog days. They commence July 2 and end August 11. They have nothing to do with dogs except that they make that animal, the pampered pet of many, exceedingly uncomfortable. They get their name from the fact that Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation of the Great Dog, and called the Dog Star, on these days rises and sets with the sun. You can see Sirius any winter night. It is a beautiful bluish star as bright as Jupiter, and rises soon after Orion, the great giant who has stars for a belt and stars for a sword. The ancients, who did not know enough to discover that the world was round, took notice that the days when the dog star kept pace with the sun, they had the greatest heat, and they thought, therefore, this star produced it. There's astronomy for you. ~~State Republican

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