August ~ It’s Summertime

Whether you’re basking in the sun, or hibernating inside an air-conditioned house, the eighth month of the year is often the hottest in the northern hemisphere. Although autumn doesn’t arrive until the third week of September, the daylight hours have grown shorter. Let’s learn a bit more about the month of August.

August gets its name from the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, nephew of Julius Caesar. Not only did the Roman Senate name a month after Augustus, they decided the month should have the same number of days as July.

“August brings the sheaves of corn, then the harvest home is borne.” ~Sara Coleridge

    • The August birthstones are the Peridot and Sardonyx
    • Gladiolus and poppies are the August flowers
    • Christopher Columbus set sail on his first voyage across the Atlantic on August 3, 1492
    • Thomas Edison invented the phonograph on August 12, 1877
    • August is National Family Fun Month, National Golf Month, National Picnic Month, National Peach Month, and American Indian Heritage Month
    • Some other noted celebrations and recognitions in August are Friendship Day (2nd), National Root Beer Float Day (6th), Book Lovers Day (9th), Black Cat Appreciation Day (17th) and We Love Memoirs Day (31st)
    • The annual Perseid meteor shower occurs during the month of August
    • Three states joined the Union during the month of August—Missouri in 1821, Colorado in 1876, and Hawaii became our fiftieth state in 1959 having been annexed by the United States in August 1898.
    • Native Americans referred to the August full moon as the Full Sturgeon Moon due to the easy catches of these large fish in the Great Lakes region. Another name is the Full Red Moon because the moon appears reddish as it rises through sultry hazes so common during the month.
    • Famous people born in August include novelist Herman Melville, astronaut Neal Armstrong, former NBA star Magic Johnson, actors Robert DeNiro and Sean Connery, and Major League Baseball player Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers.

Do you like the hot days of summer or prefer the coming days of autumn? Any special August memories? Please share in the comments.

  • Michele Jones

    I love reading the monthly facts. I learn something new with each month you post.

    • Me too, Michele. It’s been fun researching these and I’ve also learned a lot. For instance, I knew of two moon nicknames, the Harvest Moon and the Hunter’s Moon, but I didn’t know there were names for each of them.

  • I love your facts-of-the-months posts. Another informative installment. (And you know me and moons… I prefer the Full Red Moon. I mean really, who celebrates the sturgeon? I’m a salmon girl, myself.)

    • Staci, I’ve had a lot of fun with these posts (and learned a lot). I’m with you on the moon name. Who would want to eat a sturgeon. Give me salmon any day!

  • Teresa

    August is the month my son was born-exactly at 11 pm

    • This is a special month for you! Happy birthday to your son!

  • Katina Vaselopulos

    That’s a beautiful photograph, Joan!
    Wonderful information on August as well…as always!

    August is a special month for Greeks. People from the cities return home for special Christian holidays–especially Virgin Marys, the 15th–for name day celebrations, and… for figs and grapes.

    On the sixth of August, the day of Jesus’s Transfiguration, folks bring to church baskets of grapes and figs decorated with flowers and leaves, invoking blessings for both the fruit and Earth, giving thanks at the same time for His abundance. This sanctification marks the opening of the fig and grape season. Beginning right after the service, everyone can enjoy these nature’s gifts for as long as they last.

    Greek tradition confirms the wisdom of the culture and its respect for nature and its rhythms, for food and for health. Customs cultivate patience and discipline, virtues almost nonexistent in affluent societies.

    One might think of such a ritual as frivolous. Think about it: grapes and figs do
    not generally ripen before August, at least not around my hometown in Arcadia;
    consequently, they are not available to eat. If one finds them at fruit markets
    prior to that time, it means they are not local. They have traveled long
    distances, contributing to the carbon footprint of the environment, not to dismiss that they could have been grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. By curbing gluttony and practicing abstinence, one learns to be patient, abiding by nature’s rhythms. Fruits and vegetables grown nearby and eaten fresh taste better and have more nutrients than those brought from across the country or even across the world.

    • Katina, thank you for sharing this. I love to hear about the customs in other cultures. I would love to visit Greece someday. Thank you for visiting. It’s always a joy to hear from you.

  • kathunsworth

    August for us is high winds but the days are getting longer and the promise of spring comes with the first dapple of yellow wattle spotted amongst the trees. Love your summer round up Joan, at least is is always spring/summer somewhere in the world. I prefer Autumn and Spring as my favourite seasons.

    • I hadn’t thought of that, Kath, but your right. It’s always spring or summer somewhere. I look forward to autumn. It’s my favorite time of year.