Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where Did "Dog Days" Come From?

Have you ever wondered where the term "Dog days of summer" came from? 

In ancient times, the Chinese, Native Americans, and Europeans all drew pictures in the sky by connecting the stars. Not all came up with same pictures, but all did connect stars and named their "star art", as I call it. Today we call these 'constellations',  and the European pictures were adopted as the preferred star art.  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. 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. The constellations today are not in exactly the same place in the sky as they were in ancient Rome, but  the time period for dog days occurs at about the same time, which is now designated between July 3 and August 11.
As we celebrate (or dread!) the Dog Days of summer, here are some great Etsy shops to help us enjoy them! 

This is my grand dog from a year ago in Chicago! 


  1. Ha! Ha! I love your grand dog!!! ^_^

  2. Great collection of stuff and interesting info! Love the Olivia Moon pendant!

  3. Thanks for the interesting explanation on the dog days of summer!

  4. I was just going to say exactly what sweetybird09 above me said. I always wondered where that term originated! Thank you!

    by the way...thought you might like my captcha "Auspoufs"

  5. OH MY, Caren! That is a great one! I'm writing it down!