I was corresponding with a friend and mentioned the Dog Days. He asked me what they are. I had mentioned this period of the year in the northern hemisphere as when we get hot and lethargic, frustrated and perhaps peevish. I’ve written about this before, four years ago – Dog Days.
The Dog days are the period between 3rd July and 11th August (Gregorian) which is typically the hottest period of the summer. In Latin – Dies canicularis. In French – La Canicule currently meaning simply a heatwave period. Sarum mentions the sun in Leo and the Dog Days from 14th July (Julian) but doesn’t mention when they end. This time is marked by the rising of Sirius the “Dog Star” with the sun. The time is also marked by mad dogs and Englishmen going out in the midday sun in countries like Italy or Spain as Noel Coward used to sing. Most dogs lie down in some quiet and cool place and pant to get their body temperature down. If we listen to Summer of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, you will hear the double notes of the cello, representing the barking dogs in Venice.