Sunday Legends-Dog Days of Summer


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We may have gotten past the hottest weather of the year. I hope so. I really don’t like truly hot weather; it doesn’t matter what I do I always feel faintly ill.

Commonly referred to as the dog days of summer, the hottest days of the year fall somewhere between the middle of July and the middle of August in Buffalo. The term appears to have a slightly muddled pop history. I’ve read in historical notes that the phrase referred to the period of time in the summer when dogs in Buffalo went rabid from the heat.

What is actually being referred to by the phrase was the period of time that Sirius, the dog star, rose at roughly sunrise. The Romans believed that the appearance of the dog star was the harbinger of heat-and the insanity that heat seemed to bring with it. Sirius is the brightest star in Canis Major and is the brightest star in the night sky. The Greeks used the term as well.

Traditionally the dog days run from July 23rd to August 23rd. They are sometimes marked from July 11th to August 11th however.


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