Today we are marking the World Sun Day
World Sun Day as a standing alone holiday, it has been celebrated in different countries since 1994. It was established on the initiative of the European Chapter of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES-Europe), which decided to draw public attention to the problem of using renewable energy sources. The sun is approximately 4.57 billion years old. It provides people, animals and plants with light and warmth, affects weather, climate and seasonal change on the planet. People on all continents have worshiped the Orb of Day as the Deity. Many holidays are historically timed to coincide with winter and summer solstice and vernal and fall equinox. The ancient Incas considered themselves "children of the Sun", the Orb of Day was the imperial emblem in China, and in the Daoist philosophical system the sign «Yang» presents it. The Slavs also worshiped the Sun. At that time, our ancestors called the Sun as Jarilo and sincerely believed that it was the god of vegetation, fertility and springtime. Welcoming it, people made bonfires, around which they danced, served dishes symbolizing the Sun (in Russia, these are pancakes, round loaves, sweet cheesecakes, etc.). Many ancient monuments are directly related to the Sun cult. In the English settlement of Stonehenge, one can see a megalith, erected with aim to mark precisely the summer solstice position. Measurement of time, in general, has always been associated with the Sun, since the life of people from ancient times was subject to its visible movement in the sky. People divided the time into 24-hour periods (days), singled out day and night, morning and evening, noon (the time of the Sun highest position above the horizon). Hence, for many practical purposes, a more accurate timing was needed. The history of the shadow clock (sundial) began when the connection between the location of the sun shadow from objects and its length and the Sun position in the sky became obvious to people. Vertical sundials were popular in Byzantium in the Middle Ages. They were mounted on monasteries facades, towers, public buildings and temples. The numerals appeared on the dials for the first time. Due to the popularity of portable clocks, the profession of clockmaker appeared. The astrolabe* of Hipparchus was improved. At the same time, Arab masters learn from the Byzantines to create sundials and water clocks.
Since ancient times, jewelers have used the symbol of the sun in adornments. The sun was often perceived as the supreme deity, the incarnation of authority and power. Our ancestors believed that jewelry with the image of the Sun endows its owner with vitality, courage, intelligence and eternal youth. The sun is one of the key items of the majority of ancient cultures, therefore amulets with its image are found all over the world. Throughout human history, decorations featuring the sun have always been a sign of royal power and imperial grandeur. The sun has always been and remains a source of life and creative inspiration. In almost every culture, the sun was worshiped. It was considered the embodiment of divine power. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Aztecs, Slavs, Greeks and Romans - all had Gods of the Sun. Sunset in many religions symbolized the death of a deity, and sunrise – its resurrection in the morning, after the victory over the dark forces. Christian Easter and the Jesus resurrection are part of this tradition as well. By the way, the aureole above the heads of the saints was a symbol of the sun in ancient times.
The sun is one of the many stars in the universe, the center of the solar system. We owe our existence to it. The sun has the ideal size, shape, brightness, age, temperature and distance from the earth for life to emerge on the planet. If even one of these indicators differs, - even the smallest - not a person, on other forms of life on Earth could exist.
The museum "Collection" features both – items related to the theme of the Sun, and those on which the Orb of Day is depicted. One of them is the statuette "Sun worshiper" by the German sculptor Ferdinand Preiss (1882-1943), one of the leading sculptors of the Art Deco era.
* Astrolabe – the ingenious mechanical device for determining time using the position of the sun and stars. Translated from Greek "astrolabe" means "catching a star".