Welcome to Canicula, Dog Days of Summer

Welcome to Canicula, Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer have begun and will continue for a few more weeks noted for the extreme heat and sudden increase in San Miguel de Allende’s deaths due to pneumonia (called “the old man’s friend” for a reason) and other bronchial difficulties.

Canicula is another name for Sirius, the Dog Star that follows Orion across the night sky now.  The exact length of Canicula varies according to the source material but most locals feel it runs from mid-July through late August, known as the Canicular Days.  In English we use the term dog days of summer.

During Canicula vegetation is lusher (due to the recent rains), the bites of insects and reptiles are most venomous, skin wounds are most likely to fester, dogs go mad and weak or elderly people are most likely to get sick and, possibly, die.

The most uncomfortable part of summer has been studied since the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans.  Even today, July is considered the quietest month of the year for stock trading with the dog days of summer referring to lethargic summer markets.

It is no coincidence the feast day of Saint Roque, the patron saint of dogs for the canine that cured him of the plague, is August 16th during Canicula, the dog days of summer.  You notice he, and his dog, to the left as you enter the Parroquia plus his name graces many veterinarian clinics in town. 

Lucky dog!