Al Pacino, Bulldog, Butterfly, Canis Major, Dog Day Afternoon, Dog Days, Dog Days of Summer, Dog Star, Elizabeth Fais, equinox, Greeks, heliacal rising, precession, Romans, Royal Makeover, Sirius, Summer
Ah, the lazy days of summer…
Summer’s almost over and I haven’t done an official “summer” blog post, yet. It just seemed wrong to let the season that’s known for strawberries, road trips, fairs, amusement parks … and so much more … slip by without an official shout out.
This post will set things right.
Last year I tipped my hat to historic roller coasters, the ultimate “summer” experience. This year I wanted to do something different, to turn a summer standard on its ear … or nose, as the case may be.
The “Dog Days” of Summer
What is up with that expression, anyway? I mean, seriously. It never made any sense to me, so I did a little research…
I discovered that Dog Days refers to the sultry days of summer, which in the Northern Hemisphere is July and August. I also learned that the Dog Days go back to Greek and Roman times. The Romans associated the hot weather with the star Sirius, also known as the “Dog Star” — the brightest star in Canis Major (Large Dog). That’s because originally, the Dog Days marked the time when Sirius rose just before, or at the same time as, sunrise (heliacal rising). This is no longer the case due to the precession of the equinoxes.
Back in the 1800’s, the Dog Days took a dark turn. People believed the Dog Days were a time of great evil, when the sea boiled, dogs went mad, and people went flippin’ nuts. Hence, the title of the film “Dog Day Afternoon” starring Al Pacino.
Personally, I think the Dog Days are due for a royal makeover. I vote for happier, friendlier Dog Days…like the puppy in following clip. How about you?