It’s hard to believe that August is here … the last of the summer months. While some of us start thinking about yellow buses, back-to-school sales and backpacks, others are scrambling to squeeze in pool parties and down-to-the-wire vacations.
But as it turns out, August has way more to offer than just hot temperatures, classrooms and road trips. We’ve pulled together some fun facts that just might surprise you:
- August was actually called Sextilis in the original Roman calendar, since it was the sixth month of the year. But then January and February were added, making August the eighth month of the year, and consisting of only 29 days. When Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar in 45 BC, two more days were added, giving the month a total of 31. It was later renamed Augustus in honor of the first emperor of Rome, Caesar Augustus.
- August has two birthstones: peridot and sardonyx. Peridot is among the oldest known gemstones and is green in color. Sardonyx, which is lesser-known, is a white- and brown-banded gemstone once believed to have mystical powers.
- The month of August is often referred to as the “dog days of summer,” but not because of the furry, friendly kind. It has to do with the star Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, which rose at the same time as sunrise during the month of August in ancient Roman times.
- Among other titles, August is National Family Fun Month, National Catfish Month, and National Romance Awareness Month.