The Month of August 2021: Holidays, Fun Facts, and More
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All About the Month of August
November 12, 2021
August is upon us! What do we celebrate in August? Why is August a month? See all the notable days of August—from Lammas Day to Left-Handers Day to the Perseid Meteor Shower!
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)
“After Lammas Day, corn ripens as much by night as by day.”
August 1, traditionally known as Lammas Day, was a 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 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 St. Lawrence’s Day. “Fair weather on St. Lawrence’s Day presages a fair autumn.”
August’s zodiac signs are Leo (July 23–August 22) and Virgo (August 23–September 22). Find out your zodiac profile.
Full Sturgeon Moon
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 21st! Read more about August’s Full Moon.
Perseid Meteor Shower
August is a wonderful month for star gazing! It’s the month of the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks between August 11 and 13. This year, the Perseids reach their peak just a few days after the new Moon (August 8), which means that the Moon’s usual brightness won’t wash out too many of the “falling stars!”
August Moon Phases
New Moon: Aug. 8, at 9:50 a.m. EDT
First Quarter: Aug. 15, at 11:21 a.m. EDT Full Moon: August 22, at 8:02 a.m. EDT
Last Quarter: Aug. 30, at 3:15 a.m. EDT
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 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.