Dog Days of Summer

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The Dog Days of Summer are almost upon us…

Phrases such as this one have been around forever and they all have a story. Have you ever wondered where “the dog days of summer” comes from?

The dog days of summer originated from Greek mythology and the constellation of Canis Major, which contains Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, also known as the “dog star”. Even as far back as Homer’s The Iliad, you’ll see reference to Canis Major as Orion’s dog. To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the time when Sirius appeared in the night sky – in late July. The name Sirius literally means scorching, which is fitting since it rises during some of the hottest times of the year. Since then, some of the original meaning has been lost, but the phrase lives on. These days you’re likely to hear someone calling it a dog day of summer on a particularly hot day, such as we tend to have here in Houston during the summer months, without realizing that they’re referencing a term that’s been used since ancient times.

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