August, named after the Latin term for “majestic and magnificent,” is summertime’s glorious victory lap. The warmest season always flies by, but, after two months of non-stop fun in the sun, August grants us one last chance to stop and smell the flowers before school resumes and business ramps back up. (There’s a reason National Lazy Day is Aug. 10 and National Relaxation Day is Aug. 15.)
August is also a fine month for a birthday — no major holidays to compete with, summer vacations are mostly winding down, we get extra-long periods of daylight, and of the three summer months, August tends to have the least rainfall. And as birthday gifts go, we’ll let you in on a little secret: August is absolute prime time for receiving great presents, that sweet spot on the calendar when we find late-summer clearance sales and new products for fall (and even winter) start hitting the shelves.
But, August babies, it gets even better. You possess some invaluable natural gifts that can’t be wrapped.
August babies are positively lucky
Nothing beats a lucky streak and the happiness that accompanies it. A European study found those born in the summer months, and August especially, were significantly more likely to consider themselves lucky in life. Another survey links the feeling of luck with less anxiety and neuroticism, and a greater level of outgoing behavior.
Vanderbilt University also found those with August birthdays are less likely to develop depression than those born in the cooler months. Why? Scientists theorize that because mothers who give birth in August are exposed to high levels of vitamin D (aka the “sunshine vitamin”) during the last stages of their pregnancy — a result of the season’s extended daylight hours — their newborn’s “biological clock” may be permanently, and positively, altered.
August babies are healthier in mind and body
Not only are August-born individuals naturally more positive, but they have also been found less likely to suffer from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia than those born in any other month — again thanks to the vitamin D boost they receive from extended exposure to daylight experienced by late-term summer mothers. Furthering that concept, a study in Denmark also found that babies with low vitamin D levels at birth were more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life. Physical benefits abound too: Studies suggest summer babies have the healthiest average birth weights and grow to be taller than most people. Girls born in the summer also tend to experience a later onset of puberty, which is associated with lower risks of breast and throat cancer.
August’s birth flowers honor and pay homage
August’s first birth flower is the gladiolus, or “sword lily,” a name based on the Latin translation of its genus name as well as its sword-shaped blooms. Native to South Africa, the flower made its way to Europe in the 1700s. Today, it blooms around the world in array of colors, each with a different meaning: A red sword lily declares the giver’s heart is “pierced with love,” yellow expresses warm-hearted compassion, pink is a sign of motherly love, and purple speaks to mysterious charm. The gladiolus also provides more than pretty petals: South Africans have used the sword lily’s roots, blooms, and seed sacs for centuries to treat colic, skin inflammations, and wound infections.
The poppy, August’s second birth flower, was first cultivated in Mesopotamia nearly four millennia ago, for its pain-relieving properties. Ancient Romans and Greeks collected poppies to honor the dead, a tradition that continues today in this country — Americans wear and display the flower around Memorial Day to memorialize fallen U.S. soldiers.
Despite the poppy’s link to the concept of death, its message is less about mourning, and more about tribute and giving thanks. A vast variety of poppy shades exist, carrying subtle messages: Reds symbolize happiness, and purple poppies represent enchantment. White and cream stand for sympathy and condolence, and yellow conjures wishes of prosperity.
August’s zodiac signs are strong and sure
Leos (July 23–Aug. 22) are July’s natural-born performers and public speakers, and powerful ones at that. Like the sign’s symbol, the lion, a Leo can capture the attention of all around them with sounds that reach almost any volume. They won’t stop their act until everyone notices, but boy do they love the applause — a Leo lives to be showered with praise and admiration. If a Leo’s whole stage is taken, however, things could get loud, and should a Leo’s inner circle be disrespected, the lion’s full roar is on the way. They sure sound intimidating, but however wealthy or powerful, a Leo’s naturally bright smile and warm personality make them feel approachable to people of all ages and levels of society. Barack Obama, Kylie Jenner, Mick Jagger, and Martha Stewart are just a few well-known Leos.
August also births Virgos (Aug. 23–Sept. 22), a practical gang of problem solvers with a thing for modesty and independence — quite a refreshing attitude to encounter in a world of pride and glitz. The typical Virgo lives by logic and practicality, making life choices that leave little to chance. Being meticulous certainly isn’t a bad thing, though Virgos must remember that keeping unreachable ideals can lead to burnout, and applying personal sky-high standards to friends and partners can lead to unfair judgment. Thankfully, the inherently gentle and supportive Virgo nature tends to outshine its critical tendencies. A Virgo’s desire to share and build can make them wonderful teachers, musicians, and doctors. Famous Virgos include Beyoncé, Keanu Reeves, Amy Poehler, Michael Jackson, and Salma Hayek.