03 July 2011

3 July - Dog Days

Weather: As the Dog Days commence, so they end.

If it rains on the first day of the Dog Days, it will rain for forty days [pessimist]
It it rains on the first day of the Dog Days, it will rain for thirty days [optimist]

Dog Days bright and clear, indicate a happy year.
But when accompanied by rain, we hope for better times in vain.

Dog Days begin.  Now do we begin to swelter and remember nostalgically the days of winter.

These hottest days of the year once coincided with the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, at dawn, hence the name.  The ancients believed that the days bore the combined heat of the Dog Star and the Sun, causing the seas to boil, wine to turn sour, dogs to go mad, animals to turn languid, and men to fall subject to "burning fevers, hysterics and phrensies".  [Well, I don't know about the wine turning sour, but I can vouch for growing languid, and yes, it does seem that drivers are more frenzied now.]  The traditional end of the Dog Days will be on August 11.  During this time, new undertakings were considered unlucky.

The Etesian Wind is supposed to blow now for forty days and in the same direction [hopefully a gentle and mild wind, unless you are counting on it to keep the enemies ships at bay]

Take time to be languid - in between the harvesting and the canning and the vacation trips (they never are restful, are they?) and all the summer activities with which we fill our days.

Take time to be languid.