August Overview


August Facts

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.

Today, August is the eighth month of the modern calendar with 31 days. It also wraps up the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere that also include 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 reigns. 

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.

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.