Dog Days of Summer…? Where did that saying come from? I’ve always considered it the hottest time during the summer months. Not real sure what that had to do with dogs, but… What about you?
Well, I did a little digging and found out where the saying originated…well, according to Google anyway.
It coincides with the year’s rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. Older folks believed that the combined rising of the sun and of the Dog Star produced more heat and thereby caused midsummer’s extreme steaminess. While it is 2nd in brightness to the sun, this notion is not actually true, though. Sirius does not influence the weather in that way. But, for ancient Egyptians, Sirius did appear just before the Nile’s flood season so they used this event as an indicator to be on the look out for floods!
Sirius is a part of a group of stars that form the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Greater Dog”. So, not a surprise that this star is also known as Dog Star.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Dog Days of Summer are traditionally 40 days long – July 3 until August 11.
So, while the heat and humidity we experience during the Dog Days of Summer has nothing to do with Dog Star…it’s still dang hot!