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How I Missed The Winter Solstice

I have an admission to make: I have failed you. I am terribly sorry.

This is about the event of the Winter Solstice. You may know (or you may have gathered from my blog entry of December 29th, 2008) that La Seu Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca presents us every year with a truly awe-inspiring spectacle of beauty when shortly after sunrise on the day of the Winter solstice, the sun shines through the large rose window on the Cathedral’s eastern façade and illuminates in a horizontal fashion the smaller roseton above the western main portal. Every year, with the precision of a Swiss watch. I wanted to see the spectacle and take a photograph as a proof for you. In last year’s blog entry, I had to borrow a photo from the Internet. I diligently got up at 05h45 in the morning of the 21st, a week ago last Monday, as did my family, and we drove by car to Palma in search of a parking space.

We got there alright, and in good time. No problem with the parking at that early hour. Only, the weather was not in favour of our good intentions. The clouds were too thick and heavy for the sun to come through at all. And it was raining. We got pretty wet in the course of this self-imposed duty as well. I did not get the photo as you can easily gather from the photo (above), even though we endured the adverse weather conditions for over half an hour. But to no avail: we did not get to see the majestic extravaganza.

Instead we should have done what the members of the Societat Balear de Matemàtiques did. They got there a day before us, on Sunday, on a fine day with not a cloud in the sky at this early hour, and not a drop of rain. And what a fine performance they could witness. See the video for yourself:

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 21st, 2009. The time was 08:04:39. The video was taken from the Internet, courtesy of YouTube and Societat Balear de Matemàtiques.

Moltes Gràcies.

1 reply »

  1. Such an amazing sight. I wish I had seen it when I lived in Mallorca but I didn’t even know about it then. I’ll send a link from here to my daughters, now living in Canada and I know they will be interested. Sorry about your rainy day experience. It must have been disheartening.

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