Month of August 2024: Fun Facts and Holidays!

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All About August, the 8th Month of the Year

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August is upon us, starting with an old harvest holiday, Llamas Day. Do you know who August is named after, what August babies are called, and the holidays this month? Are you a fan of this harvest month which brings the bounty of the season or do you dislike the hottest month of the year? Read more.

Who is August Named After?

August was named after a major figure of the ancient Roman World, Augustus Caesar (63 B.C.–A.D. 14). He was the first Roman emperor (though he never claimed the title) and the grandnephew of the previous ruler, Julius Caesar (who named July after himself).

August is the 8th month of the year in today’s Gregorian calendar, but it was the sixth month (Sextilus) of the year in Roman times. Augustus had the month of Sextilius renamed after himself in 8 B.C. This was the month of some of his greatest military victories.

August Weather

“Dry August and warmth doth harvest no harm.”

In the Northern Hemisphere, August is the last month of summer and the hottest month of the year. How hot? See your August weather outlook.

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, so take a moment to understand the Heat Index, which is a measure of temperature plus humidity.

On the August Calendar

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

  • August 1, traditionally known as Lammas Day, was an old festival to mark the annual wheat and corn harvest. It was a sort of Thanksgiving (harvest time) in Britain. Lammas also marked the mid-point between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. Learn more about Lammas Day.
  • August 5 is a Civic Holiday in many parts of Canada. Celebrations and names for this holiday vary across the country. For example, in Alberta, it’s celebrated as Heritage Day; in British Columbia, it’s known as British Columbia Day!
  • August 10 is St. Lawrence’s Day. “Fair weather on St. Lawrence’s Day presages a fair autumn.” 
  • August 11 marks the end of the Dog Days of Summer, which began on July 3.
  • August 17 is when 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.”
  • 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.

“Just for Fun” Days

Have fun with these strange celebrations!

Full moon over trees

August Zodiac Signs

Your August baby will be a Leo or Virgo!

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

Leos are represented by the Lion. They are ruled by the Sun and have natural leadership traits (whether that means a social leader or a thought leader). Some of our recent presidents were Leos (including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama). 

Virgos tend to be the thinkers of the world and masters of reason. They are more pragmatic, organized, and logical. Everyone needs a Virgo in their life!

Interestingly, more babies are born in August than in any other month, and Leo babies tend to grow up a little taller. Could it be the August sunlight?

August Astronomy

Full Sturgeon Moon

August’s full moon, the full Sturgeon Moon, reaches peak illumination on the night of Monday, August 19. For the best view of the full Moon, look skyward that night! Read more about August’s Full Moon

August Moon Phases

New Moon: August 4, 7:13 A.M. EDT
First Quarter: August 12, 11:19 A.M. EDT
Full Moon: August 19, 2:26 P.M. EDT
Last Quarter: August 26, 5:26 A.M. EDT

→ See more about Moon Phases.

Perseid Meteor Shower

August is often a wonderful month for stargazing! It’s the month of the Perseid meteor shower, which is one of the most prolific showers and reaches its maximum between August 11 and 13.  You can still see the Perseids even if they’re not at their peak. The shower lasts from about July 23 to August 22, so be sure to keep an eye out.

August Recipes

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.

August Gardening

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)

The Anglo-Saxons called the month of August “Weod month” because it’s a month when weeds and other plants grow rapidly!

We like to think of August as the peak time for picking! In much of the country, here’s what’s in season:

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

Pickled cucumbers in a jar

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 flowers

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

Red poppies in a field

→ 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 with diamond accents

  • 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.
About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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