The Month of August 2019: Holidays, Fun Facts, and More

What special days are in August?

August 1, 2019
Ice Cream in the Hot Summer

Welcome August 2019! Why do we celebrate August? Why is August a month? See all the special days of August—from Lammas Day to Left-Handers Day to the Perseid Meteor Showers!

To us, August brings the best bounty of the season—ripened tomatoes, ripe melon, sweet corn on the cob, and zucchini are just a few of our favorites.

Canning season is here, too, and you can find tips and recipes below. 

Summer declines and roses have grown rare,
But cottage crofts are gay with hollyhocks,
And in old garden walks you breathe an air
Fragrant of pinks and August-smelling stocks.

—John Todhunter (1839-1916)

Calendar Dates

August was named to honor the first Roman emperor (and grandnephew of Julius Caesar), Augustus Caesar (63 b.c.–a.d. 14).

“After Lammas Day, corn ripens as much by night as by day.”

  • August 1, traditionally known as Lammas Day, was festival to mark the annual wheat and corn harvest. Lammas also marked the mid-point between the summer solstice and autumn equinox, and was a cross-quarter day. See more about Lammas Day.
  • August 5 is a Civic Holiday in parts of Canada.
  • August 10 is St. Lawrence Day. “Fair weather on St. Lawrence’s Day presages a fair autumn.” 
  • August 10 to 11 is Tisha B’Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, marking the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It’s observed by fasting.
  • August 11 marks the end of the Dog Days of Summer, which began on July 3.
  • August 12 is Victory Day (state holiday, Rhode Island).
  • August 15 is the Assumption of Mary, celebrated by some Christian churches. 
  • August 15 is the Full Sturgeon Moon.
  • August 16 is Bennington Battle Day (state holiday, Vermont).
  • On August 17, 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 St. Bartholomew Day. “At St. Bartholomew, there comes cold dew.”
  • Monday, 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 27 is Lyndon Johnson’s birthday (state holiday, Texas). 
  • August 30 is 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.

Wacky Holidays

Have fun with these strange celebrations!

  • Aug. 1–7: International Clown Week
  • Aug. 8: “National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbors’ Porch Day” (Or, use up that bounty with our best zucchini recipes.)
  • Aug. 10: National S’mores Day
  • Aug 12: Vinyl Record Day
  • Aug. 13: International Left-Handers Day
  • Aug. 17: International Geocaching Day
  • Aug. 17: World Honeybee Day
  • Aug. 25: Kiss-and-Make-Up Day

August’s zodiac signs are Leo (July 23–August 22) and Virgo (August 23–September 22). Find out your zodiac profile.

Astronomy

Moon Phases
First Quarter: Aug. 7, at 1:31 p.m. EDT
Full Moon: Aug. 15, at 8:29 a.m. EDT
Last Quarter: Aug. 23, at 10:56 a.m. EDT
New Moon: Aug. 30, at 6:37 a.m. EDT
See more about Moon Phases.

  • August’s full moon, the Full Sturgeon Moon, reaches peak fullness on Thursday, August 15, at 8:29 a.m. EDT. For the best view of the (nearly) full Moon, look skyward on the night of the 14th! 
    See more about the August’s Full Moon.
  • August is a wonderful month for star gazing! It’s also the month of the Perseid meteor shower, which reach their peak between August 11 and 13. This year, they peak just a couple days before the bright full Moon, which means that many of the meteors will be washed out by the Moon and difficult to see. 

Full moon over trees

Recipes for the Season

Try some of our recipes featuring this month’s crops to wrap up the summer:

Child eating watermelon

See more summertime recipes at What’s in Season: Summer Recipes.

The summer and fall are also popular times for family gatherings. Visit our Family Reunion Planner for lots of great recipe ideas.

Gardening

What’s in season in August? In much of the country, it’s peak time for picking:

  • Squash/Zucchini
  • Melons
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Peaches
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers

Preserve the bounty of the season’s harvest by trying your hand at pickling and canning!

Pickled cucumbers

See When to Harvest Vegetables and Fruits and consult our free Plant Guides with information on all your common edibles.

See how to store your fruits, vegetables, and herbs for the coming winter.

Seeds nearly ripe must be gathered from the birds, such as cabbage, fennel, lettuce, mustard, etc. See our page on seed-saving for more information.

Planting a second (or third) crop? Check our Succession Gardening chart for last planting dates.

Remember to plant your fall bulbs now: Growing Guide: Fall–Planted Bulbs

Everyday Advice

Planning on finishing up outdoor house projects before the summer ends? See our Home Improvement pages on painting, flooring, wallpapering, roofing, and more.

Bugs buggin’ you? Look to our natural remedies for insect bites and stings.

August Birth Flowers

August’s birth flowers are the gladiolus and the poppy.

The gladiolus symbolizes strength of character, sincerity, and generosity. 

gladiolus-2367076_1920.jpg

The poppy symbolizes eternal sleep, oblivion, and also imagination.

Red poppies

Discover more about August’s birth flowers!

August Birthstone

August’s primary birthstone is peridot, which is said to symbolize strength and healing power, protecting its wearer from nightmares and evil, ensuring harmony and happiness. Babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune. 

Peridot ring

  • Peridot is the rare gem-quality form of the mineral olivine that appears in various shades of green, sometimes with a brown or yellow tinge. Called “evening emerald,” the peridot was often mistaken for that other gem. Peridot is formed deep inside the earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava.

A previous birthstone for this month was sardonyx, which is characterized by alternating bands of sard and onyx, both forms of chalcedony. Although it can appear in several colors, it is usually reddish and white. It is thought to bring courage, happiness, and eloquence.

  • Legend says that Queen Elizabeth I once gave the Earl of Essex a ring made of sardonyx, pledging her aid if he was ever in need. Later on, when accused of treason and scheduled for execution, he tried to send the ring to her but an enemy intercepted it. The queen learned of his plea only years later, after he had been beheaded. 

Discover more about August’s birthstone!

Folklore for the Season

  • ​​​As August, so February.
  • Observe on what day in August the first heavy fog occurs, and expect a hard frost on the same day in October.
  • If the first week of August is unusually warm, The winter will be white and long.
  • So many August fogs, so many winter mists.
  • When it rains
    in August,
    It raises honey
    and wine.

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Reader Comments

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Notable days in August.

You left out VJ day - August 14th on this side of the International Date line, and August 15th in Japan.

Almanac

I love this site too. In a world I think has lost it's mind, this is one of the places I come to for solace. Reminds me of growing up in a simpler world. Every so often my Mom would quote a saying from the Almanac. My Mom died in 2009. My stepdad died six months later. I miss them both so much.

Just adore this site. Look

Just adore this site. Look forward to reading every morning. Thank you!!

this site

Thank YOU, Laurie, for making our day! We do it for you!

I wish the Farmers Almanac

I wish the Farmers Almanac was included on this site also so we could see the signs for canning.

Hi, there, Well, this Web

Hi, there, Well, this Web site is free, however, the current edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac book is for purchase. That's the product we sell to keep the lights on!
The new Almanac will be in retail stores by late August/early September and is already available at www.Almanac.com/store
You can also find a digital copy of the Best Days Timetable in our store. It usually runs $2 or $3. It's instant access and no shipping since it's digital.

Love the site - would be

Love the site - would be great to get as eBook or Kindle...

love this site, thanks so

love this site, thanks so much.

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