July History and Holidays
The seventh month of the Gregorian year is named in honor of Julius Caesar. In 63 B.C. Caesar had been elected Pontifex Maximus. The calendar was 355 days long and gradually through mishandling and corruption (pontiffs allowing the calendar to lengthen to please one priest, shortening it to anger another) January slipped into fall.
July was originally named Quintilis after Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus, a Roman Emperor who died in 270 B.C. While Caesar didn’t place the month of Quintilis (meaning fifth) in the strangely seventh place, he did decide to change from a lunisolar to a solar calendar. (Before the Roman calendar, there were only ten months, and Quintilis was the fifth month. When the Romans added new months, Quintilis and other months were adjusted.) The solar year would consist of 365 days, adding 10 to the total. The extra days were distributed among the months with 29 days.
A year after Caesar completed the calendar, he was assassinated on the Ides of March. In his honor, the Roman Senate named the seventh month July, the month of Caesar’s birth.
Thе new calendar went іntо effect оn the first dау оf Jаnuаrу 709 A.U.C. (ab urbе condita—”from the fоundіng оf thе сіtу [Rоmе]”) Jаnuаrу 1, 45 B.C. and put аn end tо thе arbitrary and іnассurаtе nаturе оf thе еаrlу Roman ѕуѕtеm. Thе Julіаn саlеndаr bесаmе thе predominant саlеndаr thrоughоut Europe for thе nеxt 1600 уеаrѕ untіl Pоре Gregory mаdе furthеr rеfоrmѕ іn 1582.
Certain соuntrіеѕ аnd institutions іn fасt аdhеrеd to this ancient ѕуѕtеm untіl wеll іntо thе twеntіеth сеnturу: thе Julіаn саlеndаr wаѕ uѕеd іn Russia untіl 1917 and іn Chіnа untіl 1949, аnd to thіѕ day the Eastern Orthodox сhurсh adheres tо Cаеѕаr’ѕ саlеndаr.
Weather & Seasons
July weather in the Northern Hemisphere begins heating up. The dog days of summer begin in July and carry through until August. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the second month of winter. The July weather is an excellent time for completing home renovations and projects. This summer month is also perfect for eating ice cream. In fact, the entire month celebrates ice cream and there are seven, yes seven, ice cream-related holidays on the calendar to keep us cool.
In the Southern Hemisphere, July is the second month of winter. While July’s average temperatures make it the hottest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, July is also the coldest month on average in the Southern Hemisphere.
July’s full moon is called the Buck Moon because a male deer’s antlers grow the fastest and reach its annual growth potential in July.
What’s Your Sign?
If you’re born in July your sign is either Cancer or Leo. Cancer is the crab sign and Leo is the lion.
Your birth flowers are larkspur and waterlily. The larkspur represents the bonds of love. While larkspur doesn’t bloom until Fall, the waterlily blooms all summer long. However, like the rose, the larkspur’s colors also have special meaning.
- Pink = fickleness
- White = happiness
- Purple = first loved
- Blue = grace
- The waterlily represents purity.
The primary birthstone of July is Ruby. This valuable gemstone. They are found prominently in Myanmar and Vietnam. These beautiful stones vary in shades from blood red to pinkish-red and signify wealth and prosperity.
Five Fast Facts
1. Several countries celebrate their independence in July including Canada, the United States, and France.
2. July has 31 days.
3. The Bikini debuted in July 1948.
4. Neil Armstrong put the first footprints on the moon in July of 1969.
5. Notable people born in July include:
- Ernest Hemingway
- Princess Diana
- Tom Cruise
- Arnold Swartzeneger
- Thurgood Marshall
- Medgar Evers
- Stephen Foster
- Percey Spencer
- Peggy Braithwait
- Tom Hanks
- Jane Lynch
- Ida B. Wells
- Nelson Mandela
- Janet Reno
- Robin Williams
- Emily Bronte
- John Quincy Adams
- Calvin Coolidge
- Gerald Ford
- George W. Bush