In the northern hemisphere July can appear the laziest of months, a time to kick back and relax, take some holiday.

Yet the name July emerged from one of the most cold blooded – and celebrated – murders in the history of mankind.

The Ides of March was the time when Romans settled debts and so it was that on March 14 44BC Julius Caesar was assassinated by the senate – stabbed 23 times by those fearing he planned to create an absolute dictatorship.

The problem was, the people loved Caesar for the glory he had brought to Rome and didn’t ike a bunch of politicians killing off their hero. In the weeks following Caeser’s death anger mounted and threatened to turn to revolution.

The conspirators had to do something to appease the mob and so chose to immortalise Julius by naming the seventh month of the year after him. And we don’t need to say anything about the food we get from the birthplace of Mr J Caesar do we? In fact many of you may be holidaying and eating there in July, but hey what have the Romans ever done for us?

The hot and humid days of July coincide with the rising of the brightest star in the night sky – Sirius. The star is part of the constellation Canis Major (the Greater Dog) and being the brightest star, became known as the dog star whose appearance brought on the dog days of summer.

Though dog days have since become a euphemism for a more relaxed time, July sees celebrations of two of the most famous revolutions ever known. July 4 marks the anniversary of the day in 1776 when the United States made its Declaration of Independence from Great Britain whilst July 14 marks Bastille Day, the date just 13 years later when the French Revolution began.

Both days also provide another perfect opportunity to eat good food and whilst the French may try to claim there cuisine is the best in the world, our cousins across the pond are making great waves (pardon the pun) too. Do you know, for example, that the US of A has over 200 Michelin Star restaurants? See, it’s not just about fast food over there, although they do this better than anyone too!

The dog star is not the only astronomical treat July has in store. On July 13 if the sky is clear  you can witness a perigee syzygy moon – otherwise known by the more snappy title of a supermoon.

Supermoons occur when the moon’s orbit brings it closest to the earth, known as perigree as opposed to apogee when it is furthest away.

And July’s supermoon offers the chance to witness the ‘moon illusion’. This occurs just after moonrise or before moonset and the moon appears much larger than usual. Of course its size hasn’t changed but because it is near the horizon it may appear magnified and with trees or buildings in view it appears larger than when high in the night sky with no features to give scale.

If you’re going to observe the supermoon then you really should have some super food to go with it. The SK range offers a wide variety of food-on-the-go in handy packs that can sustain you through hours of stargazing, and who doesn’t love a moonlit midnight feast?

About Oliver Parkinson
Sous Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.