As we move into June, and the kids are leaving school, for me it’s the official start of summer. (think Alice Cooper and “School’s Out for Summer” anthem). And with summer comes family trips, barbecues, time at the beach, and fun in the sun. Here are a whole bunch of fun trivia about summer you can use to impress your friends.
- The “dog days of summer” refer to the weeks between July 3 and August 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. The ancient Greeks blamed Sirius for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort, and sickness that occurred during the summer.
- Summer is the by far the busiest time at movie theaters, and Hollywood always hopes to earn a significant portion of total annual ticket sales through summer blockbuster months. To date, the top 5 most famous summer blockbusters of all time are 1) Jaws, 2) Star Wars, 3) Jurassic Park, 4) The Dark Knight, 5) Raiders of the Lost Ark, – (I have seen them all!)
- In the United States, over 650 million long-distance summer trips are made. The top 5 most popular summer vacations are 1) beach/ocean (45%), 2) a famous city (42%), 3) national parks (21%), 4) a lake (17%), and 5) a resort (14%).
- (for my heat treating lovers…) Due to the heat/sun’s rays, the iron in France’s Eiffel Tower expands, making it 6 inches taller in the summer than in the winter.
- On average, Americans consume nearly 60 gallons of soda pop per year, with a spike in the summer months. This number appears to be dropping due to the shift to bottled water.
- The month of June was named after either Juniores, the lower branch of the roman Senate, or Juno, the wife of Jupiter. Marc Antony named the month of July, in honor of Julius Caesar and August was named for Julius Caeser’s adopted nephew Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius, who held the title “Augustus.”
- Ancient pagans celebrated midsummer with bonfires. It was believed that the crops would grow as high as a couple could jump across the fire. Additionally, bonfires would generate magic by boosting the sun’s powers and help the crops grow. That whole jumping thing bothers me!
- A ubiquitous summer treat is watermelon. Watermelon is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92% water. On average, Americans consume 15 pounds of watermelon annually.
- Popsicles, a popular summer treat, was accidentally invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905. He left a glass of soda sitting outside and by the next morning the soda had frozen. He began selling them at an amusement park in New Jersey.
- July, the hottest summer month in the Northern Hemisphere, is National Ice Cream Month, not surprisingly. Americans eat between 20-25 quarts of ice cream a year. Vanilla is the most popular flavor. Vanilla is the perfect ice cream it goes with everything!
- Many ancient civilizations celebrated the summer solstice. For example, the ancient Greeks celebrated the agriculture god Cronus; the ancient Romans paid tribute to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth; and the ancient Chinese honored femininity and the force known as yin. American’s often over-celebrate the lesser known god “budweiserius”.
- About one shot-glass worth of sunscreen is enough to cover the body. The record for the most people applying sunscreen was on January 8, 2012, in Australia with 1,006 participants applying sunscreen for 2 minutes.
- According to Rolling Stone, the top 10 best summer songs of all time are 1) “Dancing in the Street,” Martha & The Vandellas; 2) “Summertime Blues,” Eddie Cochran; 3) “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper; 4) “California Girls,” The Beach Boys; 5) “Rockaway Beach,” The Ramones; 6) “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Sly & the Family Stone; 7) “Summer in the City,” Lovin’ Spoonful; 8) “Vacation,” The Go-Gos; 9) “Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince; and 10) “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama.
Rolling Stone’s number 1 all-time summer song is “Dancing in the Street” by Martha & The Vandellas. Shoot me an email with your all-time favorite summer song.