July is named after Julius Caesar, the famous Roman emperor, it being the month of his birth. Caesar created the Julian calendar, which was the world’s first solar calendar. Before that, people used a complicated lunar calendar. The Julian calendar was used by most of the western world for more than 1,600 years until it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar, which most of the world uses today.
On average, July is the hottest month of the year. Temperatures are above 20°C most days but they sometimes rise to over 30°C, especially nowadays thanks to climate change. At the time of writing this, the hottest temperature ever recorded in England was 38.7°C in Cambridge (where I live) on 25th July 2019. July is also humid and so it can feel very sticky and uncomfortable. We only have high temperatures for a few days in the year so most people don’t have air conditioning at home. Only a few modern buildings and shops have it. Nevertheless, most English people are happy to see the sun and enjoy spending time outside in the summer. People often have picnics or barbecues, and there are a number of outdoor concerts, festivals and sporting events.
Schools and universities come to the end of the academic year. The exams are over and lessons are more relaxed. A lot of schools organise a sports day with races and games for the children, and parents are invited to watch and cheer their children on. There might even be a race for mums and dads! State schools close for the summer around the third week of July and then the children have six weeks’ summer holiday. Private schools and universities have even longer summer breaks.
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