August is perhaps the most beautiful month. There is magic in a summer waning out and footfalls of a winter on tiptoes. As Sylvia Plath rightly puts it, “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
August is summer’s finale and has a delicious tang to it with the promising thoughts of a mild autumn due in September. This is especially true for us now in the UAE when we are being grilled in the throes of a severe summer.
The month of August is known for many things, including the dog days of summer, National Watermelon Day (Aug. 3) and National Smile Week (Aug. 5-11th). August owes its name to Augustus César, founder and first emperor of the Roman Empire, adopted posthumously by his maternal uncle Gaius Julius Caesar.
For me, August is our wedding anniversary month. It was an august wedding 20 summers ago. Even though the hubby and I still aren’t very much august with ourselves, we are happy to monkey around together for the rest of our lives. All right, august company.
August is also the holiday month in the Middle East. Both parents and children benefit from this school-free month. It is the month in which vacation planning for a full year is supposed to materialise. If life was an Enid Blyton book, then August would be the month of adventures.
What makes August cool?
Friendship Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of August. In 2021, it falls on August 1. In 1935, a tradition to dedicate a day to honour friends began in the United States. Gradually, Friendship Day became more popular and various countries celebrate the day with zest. What would life be like if there were no friends? Friends are relatives we choose, as the saying goes. A friendless life is quite a dull life, as each of us can vouch. The transition from not meeting friends or family at the peak of the pandemic to small gatherings of five or six people has been a relief in recent times. True friends are like stars that twinkle in our lives and a gentle ocean that relaxes us.
I miss the friendship bands of 90s where rainbow coloured tassel bracelets adorned your wrist the whole of August.
National Sloth Day is August 10th. It is simply marvellous that there is a day to let your hair down and be lazy. Corporates, anyone listening?
National Relaxation Day is August 15. If laziness comes, can relaxation be far behind. In a tense world now on Zoom calls and team meetings, it’s fair to have a day to relax too!
This August also boasts of the prestigious Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, happening late due to the pandemic. Even though it is being played to empty galleries due to social distancing rules, there is hope and excitement and it is the culmination of the hard work of all participants and the organisers.
The August blooms
The plants heave a sigh of relief as the dusty July month fades slowly to less fiery months. The brilliant Vinca pop their colours along the sidewalks. People who celebrate their birthday in August, like my sister, adore the limelight. They are the sunshine at any gathering. A lot of our favourite celebrities are August babies such as Barack Obama, Mila Kunis, Viola Davis, Madonna, Sunil Chhetri, Daniel Radcliffe and Alfred Hitchcock.
“I love borders. August is the border between summer and autumn; it is the most beautiful month I know,” quipped Tove Jansson.
There are lots of reasons to love August. What’s yours?
Feby Imthias is a writer based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @Feby_Imthias