From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of seven months with the length of 31 days. It is, on average, the warmest month in most of the Northern hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer) and the coldest month in much of the Southern hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter). The second half of the year commences in July. In the Southern hemisphere, July is the seasonal equivalent of January in the Northern hemisphere.
July starts on the same day of the week as April in a common year, and January in leap years. In a common year no other month ends on the same day as July, while in a leap year July ends on the same day of the week as January.
The birthstone for July is a ruby.
In the Northern Hemisphere:
- Dog days begin in early July, when the thot sultry weather of summer usually starts.
- Summer school is under way for many students in the USA.
- Spring lambs, born in late winter or early spring, are usually sold before July 1.
Previously, it was called Quintilis in Latin, since it was the fifth month in the ancient Roman calendar, which traditionally set March as the beginning of the year before it was changed to January at the time of the decemvirs about 450 BC. The name was then changed by Augustus to honor Julius Caesar, who was born in July. In the ancient Roman calendar the ides of July fell on the 15th day of the month.