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August: Holidays, fun facts, and everything else you should know

August is upon us! What do we celebrate in August? Why is August a month? See all the notable days of August—from Saint Lawrence’s Day to Left-Handers Day to the Perseid Meteor Shower!

The month of July

August was named to honor the first Roman emperor (and grandnephew of Julius Caesar), Augustus Caesar (63 B.C. – 14 A.D.).

August calendar

• August 5 is a civic holiday in parts of Canada.

• August 9 starts the Islamic New Year, or the First of Muharram, beginning at sundown. Traditionally, it begins at the first sighting of the lunar crescent after the new moon.

• August 10 is Saint Lawrence’s Day. According to folklore, fair weather on Saint Lawrence’s Day presages a fair autumn.

• August 11 marks the end of the Dog Days of Summer, which began July 3.

• August 17 is when the Cat Nights begin, harking back to a rather obscure Irish legend concerning witches; this bit of folklore also led to the idea that a cat has nine lives.

• August 19 brings National Aviation Day, chosen for the birthday of Orville Wright who piloted the first recorded flight of a powered heavier-than-air machine in 1903.

• August 24 is Saint Bartholomew Day.

• August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, which celebrates the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment and, with it, women’s right to vote in the United States.

August quiz

Which branch of the U.S. military was formed during the month of August?

A. Air Force

B. Army

C. Coast Guard

D. Marines

E. National Guard

F. Navy

G. Space Force

“Just for Fun” Days

• August 1-7 is International Clown Week.

• August 3 is National Watermelon Day.

• August 8 is “National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbors’ Porch Day.”

• August 10 is National S’mores Day.

• August 12 is Vinyl Record Day.

• August 13 is International Left-Handers Day.

•August 17 is International Geocaching Day and World Honeybee Day.

•August 25 is Kiss-and-Make-Up Day.

August astronomy

August’s full moon, the full Sturgeon Moon, reaches peak illumination in the morning hours of Sunday, August 22. For the best view of the full moon, look skyward on the night of the August 21.

Also, August is a wonderful month for stargazing. It’s the month of the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks between August 11 and August 13. This year, the Perseids reach their peak just a few days after the new moon on August 8, which means that the moon’s usual brightness won’t wash out too many of the “falling stars!”