Friday, June 20, 2008

Solstice of Saint John

The northern solstice falls tonight at 23.59. Northern solstice and southern solstice indicate the direction of the sun's movement. The northern solstice is in June on Earth, when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere, and the southern solstice is in December, when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. Solstices occur twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most oriented 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 stands still in declination; that is, its apparent movement north or south comes to a standstill.In the Eastern Orthodox Church and other Eastern Christian Churches, John the Baptist is usually called John the Forerunner, a title used also in the West ("Πρόδρομος" in Greek, "Praecursor" in Latin). This title indicates that the purpose of his ministry was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. In the East also, the Feast of his Nativity is celebrated on 24 June. Happy St. Johns Day
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