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August 2013

“Dog days” or “the dog days of summer” refers to the hottest, most sultry days between early July and early September — a phenomenon common primarily in the northern hemisphere. Dog days can also be used to describe a period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or one marked by lack of progress.
 
The ancient Romans called this period “caniculares dies” or days of the dogs, after Sirius, the “Dog Star”, the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun. The “dog days” originally marked the time when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose just before or at the same time as the sun (heliacal rising), which is now no longer true because of the precession of the equinoxes. The ancients were known to sacrifice a brown dog at the beginning of the summer months to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that that star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather. - Amelia Glynn

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