Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Egyptian New Year!

The Summer Solstice, otherwise known as the longest day of the year, is here (and luckily the weather is cooperating!) And since I'm a geek I feel it is my duty to spread some necessary knowledge about it.

Solstices occur twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is oriented directly towards or away from the Sun, causing the Sun to reach its northernmost and southernmost extremes. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices the Sun's apparent movement north or south comes to a standstill.

The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the date (day) that such a passage happens. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In many cultures, solstices and equinoxes traditionally determine the midpoint of the seasons, which can be seen in the celebrations called midsummer and midwinter.

In Ancient Egypt, summer solstice was the most important day of the year. The sun was at its highest and the Nile River was beginning to rise. Special ceremonies were held to honor the Goddess Isis, since Egyptians believed that Isis was mourning for her dead husband Osiris, and that her tears made the Nile rise and well over. Accurately predicting the floods was of such vital importance that the appearance of the Sirius Constellation, (which occurs around the time of the summer solstice), was recognized as the beginning of the Egyptian New Year.

So, happy New Year! Since you have ample sunlight today, why not go shopping? Inventory has been updated at Lost & Found, inside Pat's. Although we don't have Amulets, we do have several picnic baskets, wicker chairs, and ladies espadrille and wedge shoes, perfect for the summer (with the recent cooperation of this weather). We also have a few mid-century coffee tables still up for grabs, night stands, women and men's vintage clothing, and much more!

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