The Month of August 2020: Holidays, Fun Facts, and More

All About the Month of August

July 14, 2020
Ice Cream in the Hot Summer

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 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)

The Month of August

August was named to honor the first Roman emperor (and grandnephew of Julius Caesar), Augustus Caesar (63 b.c.–a.d. 14). Find out the origin of each month’s name.

Notable Dates in August

“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 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 19 also 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 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!

  • 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.

August Astronomy

Full Sturgeon Moon

August’s full moon, the Full Sturgeon Moon, reaches peak illumination on Monday, August 3. For the best view of the (nearly) full Moon, look skyward on the night of the 2nd! 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, they peak right around the last quarter Moon, which means that the Moon shouldn’t wash out too many of the “falling stars.” 

August Moon Phases

Full Moon: August 3, at 11:59 a.m. EDT
Last Quarter: Aug. 11, at 12:45 p.m. EDT
New Moon: Aug. 18, at 10:42 p.m. EDT
First Quarter: Aug. 25, at 1:58 p.m. EDT

See more about Moon Phases.

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:

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

The Editors's picture

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

The Editors's picture

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.