Dog Days Of Summer!
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"Dog Days" (Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer.
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1) - In the northern hemisphere
they usually fall between early July and early September.
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2) - In the southern hemisphere.
In the southern hemisphere they are usually between January and early March. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate.
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3) - Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, was somehow responsible for the hot weather.
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The Name
The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the "Dog Star" because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius is also the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun. The term "Dog Days" was used earlier by the Greeks (see, e.g., Aristotle's Physics, 199a2).

The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813.
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The dates
In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days extended from July 24 through August 24 (or, alternatively July 23-August 23). In many European cultures (German, French, Italian) this period is still said to be the time of the Dog Days.

The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.

According to The Book of Common Prayer (1552), the "Dog Daies" begin on July 6 and end on August 17.
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Other references
For the ancient Egyptians, Sirius appeared just before the season of the Nile's flooding, so they used the star as a "watchdog" for that event. Since its rising also coincided with a time of extreme heat, the connection with hot, sultry weather was made for all time: "Dog Days bright and clear / indicate a happy year. / But when accompanied by rain, / for better times our hopes are vain."

The phrase is mentioned in the short story "The Bar Sinister" by Richard Harding Davis. The main character, who is a street dog, explains "but when the hot days come, I think they might remember that those are the dog days, and leave a little water outside in a trough, like they do for the horses."

In recent years, the phrase "Dog Days" or "Dog Days of Summer" have also found new meanings. The term has frequently been used in reference to the American stock market(s). Typically, summer is a very slow time for the stock market, and additionally, poorly performing stocks with little future potential are frequently known as "dogs."



















The feast day of Saint Roch, the patron saint of dogs, is August 16.

Icelanders refer to the Danish adventurer Jørgen Jürgensen as Jörundur hundadagakonungur ("Jørgen the dog-days King" in Icelandic) since he proclaimed himself lord protector for some months of 1809.

And there is this mention of "dogdays" in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol:

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping,     clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous         fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped      his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke         out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He     carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dogdays; and didn't thaw it      one degree at Christmas.
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See Also:
How To Cool Your Cat Down in the Summer
About Summer




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Resources:  This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article dogdays/and other related pages. Top Photo by: homestead stock
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A casual survey will usually find that many people believe the phrase is in reference to the conspicuous laziness of domesticated dogs (who are in danger of overheating with too much exercise) during the hottest days of the summer. When speaking of "Dog Days" there seems to be a connotation of lying or "dogging" around, or being "dog tired" on these hot and humid days. Although these meanings have nothing to do with the original source of the phrase, they may have been attached to the phrase in recent years due to common usage or misunderstanding of the origin of the phrase.
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