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Dog Days, Schomg Days... it's freakin' HOT!!!


After hours, nay weeks, of research we believe we have the answer... here goes!!!

We all know that the “dog days of summer” occur during the hottest and muggiest (like right now) part of the season. some sources define “the dog days” as...

1 : the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere
2 : a period of stagnation or inactivity

Wikipedia says the dog days run from July 24 to August 24, so regardless of where you get your info, here we were, smack dab in the middle of it and still ignorant as to the how the expression came to be (at least we were). So where does the term come from? Why do we call the hot, sultry days of summer “dog days?”

In ancient times, when the night sky was un-obscured by artificial lights and smog, different groups of peoples in different parts of the world drew images in the sky by “connecting the dots” of stars. The images drawn were dependent upon the culture: The Chinese saw different images than the Native Americans, who saw different pictures than the Europeans. These star pictures are now called constellations, and the constellations that are now mapped out in the sky come from our European ancestors.

They saw images of bears, (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), twins, (Gemini), a bull, (Taurus), and others, including dogs, (Canis Major and Canis Minor). The brightest of the stars in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius, which also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky. In fact, it is so bright that the ancient Romans thought that the earth received heat from it. In the summer, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun. During late July Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the dog star. Got it... Dog Days!?!

Leave it to HorN Pets to bring you the answers to all your burning, pet related questions!!! Next week we will explain how the term 'Cat Burglar' came to be... it's not what you think!!!

Stay HAUTE, while staying cool !!!

The Dog Days of Summer… What the Hell Does That Even Mean?!?
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great info! I always wondered where the term came from and now I know!

posted by caren gittleman

on 08/02/2010 at 8:25 am

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