August History and Holidays
In the original 10 month Roman calendar, August was the sixth month with 30 days and was originally named Sextilis. In 8 BC, the Roman Senate rewarded Octavian Augustus a month in his honor. The founder and first emperor of the Roman Empire, Octavian Augustus selected Sextilis, which under the Julian calendar was the eighth month with the addition of January and February.
Renamed to Augustus, there remained the issue of the month having fewer days than Julius (July). Whether Octavian adjusted the number of days to match that of July is uncertain, but the result left February with 28 days except in a leap year and September and November each gave up a day to October and December to avoid a trifecta of 31 days in a row. For hubris or pride or both, the Julian calendar came to be.
Weather & Seasons
Today, August is the eighth month of the modern calendar with 31 days. It also wraps up the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere and that also includes the Dog Days of Summer. This traditionally hot and humid time lures people to pools and beaches to cool off. In the Southern Hemisphere, winter still reigns.
August’s moon is called the Sturgeon Moon, named after the ancient fish that swim in North America. They were once abundant and easily caught during the heat of August summer.
In the sporting world, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships begin at the end of August while the National Football League kicks off its preseason matchups.
What’s Your Sign?
If you’re born in August, chances are your sign is either Leo or Virgo. Leo represents the lion and Virgo means the virgin and is represented by a maiden or goddess.
August birthdays celebrate with the gladiolus and poppy. Other flowers coming into bloom in August include goldenrod and salvia.
The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzle. Sue Monk Kid, The Secret Life of Bees.
Peridot and spinel are the birthstones of those born in August. Peridot is a semi-precious olive or lime-green stone found in lava flows and veins from the United States to Finland and Pakistan, among others. Found in shades of pink, red, blue, violet, and lavender, spinel is a more recent addition to the August birthstones.
Five Fast Facts
1. August is the only month that is also one of the top 1,000 names for men.
2. The Purple Heart was created on August 7, 1782.
3. The Perseid meteor showers occur every year in August. Depending on the year, it can be one of the most spectacular shows in the sky. National Sleep Under the Stars Night is the perfect holiday to experience this event!
4. More people move during August than any other month. Whether they bought or sold a house or are moving into a bigger or smaller apartment, doing so during a summer month is easier than doing it during a summer one.
5. Notable people born in August include:
- Louis Armstrong
- Neil Armstrong
- Lucille Ball
- Benjamin Harrison
- Herbert Hoover
- Lyndon B. Johnson
- Bill Clinton
- Barack Obama
- Jerry Garcia
- Smokey Bear
- Sam Elliot
- Gillian Anderson
- Margaret Burbidge
- Orville Wright
- Coco Chanel
- HP Lovecraft
- Connie Chung
- Amy Adams