We’ve officially ended the “dog days of summer,” those hottest days of the year that test the limits of even the most enthusiastic warm weather fanatics. And while we’ve all heard about the “dog days” (especially here in the south), we can’t help but ask: what exactly are the dog days of summer?
Big surprise here, the dog days have absolutely nothing to do with dogs, not really. Historically speaking, the dog days of summer are the days that fall between in the dead of summer when the dog star Sirius falls in a specific alignment in relation to the sun. A term coined by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” are when Sirius can be spotted just before the sun, which happens through mid-August.
According to the Farmers Almanac, the “dog days” begin around July 3 and come to a close around August 11, just after the Summer Solstice. This period can vary from year to year, and differs depending on the location’s latitude in relation to when the dog star rises. In the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days are typically in July and August, which are considered to be the hottest months of the year.
The original meaning of the “dog days” has been lost in translation over time. In fact, the translation from Latin to English was over 500 years ago. Since then, the term has taken on a completely different meaning, referencing the warmest, laziest days of the year when all you want to do is float down a nice, cold stream.
Thankfully (and hopefully), this year’s dog days are behind us, and the promise of cooler weather is in the air. We hope you made the most of those days, though, spending some quality time surrounded by plenty of cool rivers, streams, and waterfalls!