July Is the Seventh Month of the Year

July is a summer month in the northern half of the world, and a winter month in the southern half. It is named after Julius Caesar.

Water lilies with reflection in a pond.

July’s birth flower is the water lily.


July is the seventh month in the Gregorian calendar and has 31 days. It is the second month of astronomical summer and the hottest month in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, July is the second month of astronomical winter.

What Is the Meaning of July?

July is named after the Roman dictator Gaius Julius Caesar. The month used to be called Quintilis (“the fifth” in Latin) because it used to be the fifth month in the ancient Roman calendar. Quintilis was renamed Julius in 44 BCE to honor Julius Caesar after his death.

History of July

The old Roman calendar started in March. The fifth month was called mens quintilis. In the year 154 BCE, a rebellion forced the Roman senate to change the beginning of the civil year from March to January 1. With this reform, Quintilis officially became the seventh month but kept its name (for the next 110 years).

After the murder of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 BCE, Rome was on the brink of civil war: Many within the Roman aristocracy wanted Caesar to be condemned as a tyrant who needed to be purged from history while the Roman citizens admired and adored Caesar. To stabilize the situation, the Roman senate chose to side with the people. They gave Caesar’s birth month Quintilis the new name mens iulius, the month of Julius.

Ancient Roman wall calendar from Antium showing all Roman months

This Roman wall calendar dating from 84-55 BCE still shows the old name QVIN(tilis) as the seventh month.

Photograph by Bauglir / CC BY-SA 4.0

Astronomical Events in July 2024

Buck Moon: July’s Full Moon is known under many traditional names: Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, and Wort Moon.

New Moon: The New Moon phase on July 5, 2024, is the best time to explore the night sky. Find planets, stars, and constellations using our Interactive Night Sky Map!

The Dog Days of Summer

The hot and humid days in July are known as “the dog days.” Historically, the star Sirius was rising in the night sky just as the hot summer days started. Because the star is part of the constellation Canis Major (“the Greater Dog”), these hot and hated days became known as dog days.

Holidays in July

Independence Day

Independence Day or “Fourth of July” is one of the most important holidays in the United States. On July 4, Americans celebrate their declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. People enjoy the day with barbeques, family events, and fireworks. Patriotic displays are organized throughout the United States.

Bastille Day

What the Fourth of July is for US-Americans, Bastille Day is for the French. On July 14, 1789, soldiers stormed the Bastille, a royal fortress in Paris—the French Revolution started soon after. Today, Bastille Day is the French national holiday, celebrated with flags, parades, and fireworks.

July Birthstone and Birth Flowers

According to tradition, the birthstone for July is the ruby, representing contentment. The July birth flowers are the larkspur (Delphinium elatum) and the water lily (Nymphaea nouchali).

Zodiac Signs in July

Topics: July, Months