Article written by Allison Quarrella with references from the Farmer’s Almanac.
When people think about the “Dog Days of Summer”, they usually imagine that the phrase originates from how dogs tend to laze about in the shade during the hot days of summer. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it actually doesn’t have to do with our favorite pets—instead, it’s due to the stars alignment in the sky during July-Early August.
During the summer, the brightest star from the Canis Major constellation visible from Earth (Sirius) aligns with the sun usually in late July. Ancient Romans believed that the star added heat to the sun during this time, so they referred to it as the “dog days” during which summer was “brighter and hotter”.
While this period of time is usually the hottest part of summer, it’s not due to the added heat of stars but the Earth’s axis tilt.
Use this time to spend time at the pool, in sprinklers, or just drinking delicious iced tea in the shade with your family and friends. While it is tempting to laze about during this time, it is important to stay active and hydrated.
He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
To read more about the Dog Days of Summer, visit this Farmer's Almanac Manual Article.