What Are The Dog Days Of Summer?

Summer is usually defined as the happy season of the year. Some prefer enjoying the warmth with friends and family. And most of us crave to be on the beach in our beloved summer outfit. Whatever it is, summer brings us long and merrier days. When talking about summer, have you ever thought about what are the dog days of summer? This term has a historic meaning which most of you would be interested to know.

We thought of sharing a few things in this article with anyone of you, who is curious to know what are the dog days of summer?

The Origin And The History.

While finding the origin of this phrase, we found out that it has a long history. The funny thing is, it has nothing to do with our adored companions-the dogs! Some think this tells the severity of the sun’s rays or the hotness. And some think this says about the laziness of the warm summer days that even makes the dogs lie down and pant.

The phrase ‘dog days’ is actually a reference to the dog star, Sirius, and its place in the heavens. Sirius is a dog star in the constellation, Canis Major, which is also known as the Greater Dog. The origin runs back to the historic Greek days. The name ‘Sirius’ is derived from Ancient Greek ‘seirios’, which means ‘ scorching’. The Greeks, the Romans, and the Egyptians have been considering the days in late July to be the scorching time of the year which can cause disastrous diseases to spread. 

Ancient Egyptians believed that the rise of the dog star Sirius, correlated with the flooding of the Nile River. Hence they used the dog star Sirius as a watchdog for that incident. As per their history, these days occurred after the rise of the dog star, Sirius. Therefore the brightest and the warmest days of the summer, or the extreme weather days of the year, are known as the ‘dog days ‘.

When Are The Dog Days Of Summer?

The definite dog days could change from source to source. The reason behind this is that the traditional tie to the dawn of Sirius changed over time. However, most of the sources acknowledge that the dog days happen in mid-to-late summer (mid-July to mid-August). The dates refer to a period of 40 days- usually beginning from 03rd of July to 11th of August. The dog days have been considered to occur soon after the Summer Solstice in late June. Though these days are generally believed to be the hottest days of the year, they can vary yearly. 

Significance Of The Dog Days Of Summer.

Referring back to the history of Ancient Greeks and Romans, they reckoned that the dog days are days of bad omen. They believed it for a time to have bad luck with droughts as a result of the extreme weather condition. They even considered the dog days to be a period that causes insanity in humans and dogs by the intense heat. But at present, this phrase does not evoke such terrible imagery. The Dog Days are rather related entirely to the days of summer with higher temperatures and humidity. 

Safety Tips To Stay Safe During The Dog Days.

Extreme weather- harsh sun rays, humidity, and hotness can cause complications to the human body. Therefore it is important to be aware of protective tips we can follow to beat the consequences. Try staying indoors most of the time and be in lesser contact with outdoor activities during the Dog Days. Choosing a safe and a good swim over a hike is also considerable. It is also advised not to get overly exposed to direct sunlight during the Dog Days. Using a sun protection cream, lotion or powder is also crucial during these days.

Make sure to stay hydrated-just drink plenty of water. Try wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing. You may have to put aside your favorite black t-shirt or dark red mini dress! Dark-colored clothing absorbs heat so try to avoid them as much as possible. Also, wear good and protective shoes or sandals to safeguard your feet while walking or staying outside.

Summer is fun and the Dog Days are just a part of it. Know the days and enjoy this summer!