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Depiction of harvesting in the August calendar page of the Queen Mary Psalter (fol. 78v), ca. 1310

August is the eighth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and the fifth of seven months to have a length of 31 days.[1] It was originally named Sextilis in Latin because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC, with March being the first month of the year. About 700 BC, it became the eighth month when January and February were added to the year before March by King Numa Pompilius, who also gave it 29 days. Julius Caesar added two days when he created the Julian calendar in 46 BC (708 AUC), giving it its modern length of 31 days. In 8 BC, it was renamed in honor of Augustus. According to a Senatus consultum quoted by Macrobius, he chose this month because it was the time of several of his great triumphs, including the conquest of Egypt.[2]

August does not start on the same day of the week as any other month in common years, but starts on the same day of the week as February in leap years. It ends on the same day of the week as November every year. In years preceding common years, it starts and ends on the same day of the week as May of the following year. In years preceding leap years, it begins and ends on the same day of the week as October of the following year and ends on the same day of the week as February of the following year. In common years preceded by any year, August begins on the same day of the week as March and November and ends on the same day of the week as March and June. In leap years, it begins on the same day of the week as June of the previous year and ends on the same day of the week as September of the previous year. In common years preceded by common years, August begins on the same day of the week as February of the previous year.

In the Southern Hemisphere, August is the seasonal equivalent of February in the Northern Hemisphere. In many European countries, August is the holiday month for most workers. Numerous religious holidays occurred during August in ancient Rome.[3]

Certain meteor showers take place in August. The Kappa Cygnids take place in August, with the dates varying each year. The Alpha Capricornids meteor shower takes place as early as July 10 and ends at around August 10, and the Southern Delta Aquariids take place from mid-July to mid-August, with the peak usually around July 28–29. The Perseids, a major meteor shower, typically takes place between July 17 and August 24, with the days of the peak varying yearly. The star cluster of Messier 30 is best observed around August.

Among the aborigines of the Canary Islands, especially among the Guanches of Tenerife, the month of August received in the name of Beñesmer or Beñesmen, which was also the harvest festival held this month.[4][5]

August symbols


This list does not necessarily imply either official status or general observance.

Non-Gregorian observances: 2020 dates

(All Baha'i, Islamic, and Jewish observances begin at the sundown prior to the date listed, and end at sundown of the date in question unless otherwise noted.)

Month-long observances

United States month-long observances

  • National Black Business Month[19]
  • National Children's Vision and Learning Month[20]
  • National Immunization Awareness Month[21]
  • National Water Quality Month[22]
  • National Win with Civility Month[23]

Food Months in the United States

Moveable Gregorian observances, 2020

Second to last Sunday in July and the following two weeks: July 19 – August 1

1st Saturday: August 1

1st Sunday: August 2

First Full week of August: August 2–8

1st Monday: August 3

1st Tuesday: August 4

1st Friday: August 7

2nd Saturday: August 8

Sunday on or closest to August 9: August 9

2nd Sunday: August 9

2nd Monday: August 10

2nd Tuesday: August 11

3rd Saturday: August 15

3rd Sunday: August 16

3rd Monday: August 17

3rd Friday: August 21

Last Thursday: August 27

Last Sunday: August 30

Last Monday: August 31

Fixed Gregorian observances


  1. "August." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 23 September 2008.
  2. "Year of Julius Caesar, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin, Ed".
  3. Supplicia canum was held on August 3, Lychnapsia on August 12, Nemoralia was held from August 13–15 (or on the full moon of August), Tiberinalia and Portumnalia on August 17, Consuales Ludi on August 18, Vinalia rustica on August 19, Vulcanalia on August 23, Opiconsivia on August 25, and Volturnalia on August 27. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.
  4. Abréu Galindo, Juan de (1848) [1632]. Historia de la conquista de las siete islas de Gran Canaria. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Imprenta, Litografía y Librería Isleña.
  5. Torriani, Leonardo (1959) [1590]. Descripción e historia del reino de las Islas Canarias: antes Afortunadas, con el parecer de sus fortificaciones. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Goya Ediciones.
  6. "Why the American Gem Society". American Gem Society.
  7. Birth months, flowers, and gemstones,
  8. The Earth passes the junction of the signs at 15:44 UT/GMT August 22, 2020, and will pass it again at 21:34 UT/GMT August 22, 2021.
  9. "Astrology Calendar", yourzodiacsign. Signs in UT/GMT for 1950–2030.
  10. "".
  11. "Children's Eye Health and Safety Month".
  12. "Online Events".
  13. "August is Get Ready for Kindergarten Month!". Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2015-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "AANS".
  16. "Psoriasis Awareness Month – Take Action, One Day at a Time – National Psoriasis Foundation".
  17. "Cure SMA – Home".
  18. "What Will Be Your Legacy Month".
  19. "12th annual National Black Business Month". National Black Business Month.
  20. "August is Vision & Learning Month – College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)".
  21. "National Immunization Awareness Month – NIAM – CDC".
  22. "August is National Water Quality Month". GoodSpeaks.
  23. "".
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 "Food Days, Weeks, Months – August". UNL Food. University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
  25. Bober, Mike. Celebrate National Goat Cheese Month with Local Favorites,
  26. "Why Is National Panini Month In August?". Food Republic. August 20, 2012.
  27. Missing or empty |title= (help)

Further reading

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