August is the eighth month in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars and is one of the seven months that has thirty-one days. One the old Roman calendar it was the sixth month and originally called Sextilis (on that calendar March was the first month of the new year). By the time of Julius Caesar, January and February had been added to the calendar. Caesar added two days when he created the Julian calendar in 46 BC giving it the modern length of thirty-one days. It was renamed in 8 BC to honor the Emperor Augustus. August also entered the vocabulary as well. To call someone august meant they were distinguished or renowned. The same would apply if you applied it to an institution or government body as well.
August in the northern hemisphere is a time when the bounty of the season is often at its fullest (below the equator it is still winter). The birthstones are peridot and onyx, and the birth flower the poppy. For those who like to watch the stars, the Perseid meteor shower which usually occurs between July 17 and August 24. They are often the most visible between August 9 to August 13. The best time to view is usually the pre-dawn hours though you can sometimes see them earlier as well. Another fun fact to know is the Dog Days of Summer (which began on July 3) comes to an end on August 11.
Also, in August we notice, slowly at first, that the days are starting to get a little shorter. At the beginning of the month, you can have up to 14 hours of daylight. By August 31 though, it has shrunk to 13 hours. The sunset that occurred perhaps at 8:17 pm on the first day of August is now just under 7:40 am at the end. Conversely sunrise is getting later resulting in darker early mornings unlike in June or July.
August is now the eighth month of the year under the current calendar but was originally the sixth month under the old Roman calendar. When January and February were added to the calendar in 753 BC, it became the eighth month. Julius Caesar added two days making it 31 days in 45 BC for the new Julian calendar. In 8 BC it was named for the Roman emperor Augustus and has remained so ever since. The gladiolus or poppy is the flower associated with this month.
August is also National Sandwich Month in the United States. John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, is often credited with being is namesake. During a card game, it is claimed, he wanted something to eat so he did not have to leave the game. Meat between two slices of bread fit the bill and it has forever more been known in England and the West as a sandwich. In it simplest form it is a portable meal. Such ways of eating food have been around for a long time and many cultures going back to ancient times had versions of what we call a sandwich. Stemming perhaps from a legal decision about whether burritos or quesadillas count as sandwiches, a sandwich is defined as two slices of bread with meat or other items of food between. Hot items on breads are almost never called sandwiches such as hamburgers or hot dogs. American sandwiches tend to be full size when European and British tend to be smaller and sometimes used for fancy parties. The English butty is a type of sandwich with butter and meat but is rarely cut. Often one slice of bread is used that is folded over rather than sliced.
The Titanic in Photographs exhibit has opened up at RVP in Tunbridge Wells, UK. This exhibit is based upon a book of the same name by Daniel Klistorner. The exhibit contains items from various Titanic auctions around the world. It is quite a remarkable collection to view. It also simulates through the use of various memorabilia what it looked like aboard Titanic. The exhibit is free but guides are available for £5.
Belfast Titanic is adding jobs this summer to cope with expected heavy crowds. The weather over there right now is not too bad. Temperatures for the coming week look to be in the mid-60’s during the day and mid 50’s at night. And yes some rain is expected during the week. As always pack with that in mind when visiting Ireland.
It is the last day of August and summer vacation comes to a close for many. Labor Day here in the U.S. begins the unofficial demarcation between summer and autumn. And the Autumnal Equinox is not that far off now. Click on the image link for a musical treat.
Today is the first sunday of August, the eight month in the Gregorian calendar. It is summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern. One interesting bit of trivia is that August ends on the same day of the week as November every year. This month was originally known as Sextili as it was the sixth month. It shifted around for a while as calendars were changed or adjusted until around Julius Caesar added to more days to give it a full 31 and by that time it was the eighth month. It became August (Latin Augustus) to honor the Emperor Augustus. The word august has come to mean respected and impressive. Saying someone is part of an august body is to say the body is distinguished and renowned.
The birthstones for August are peridot and sardonyx. The August flower is the gladiolus or poppy.