It’s the dog days of summer. But what does that mean exactly?
Why Are They Called the “Dog Days” of Summer?
The phrase is actually a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. This is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star.
In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. On July 23rd, specifically, it is in conjunction with the Sun, and because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather. They referred to this time as diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days.”
Thus, the term Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun—July 3 to Aug. 11. (from the FarmersAlmanac.com)
But of course the looser intrepretation and the one we prefer here is the time for dog related promotions like Bark in the Park. The Grizzlies know what we mean.
Speaking of the Dog Days, be sure to read Scott Carter’s Battling the Dog Days column in the Carter Files. It covers ways to inspire and reinvigorate mid-season.