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The year of the Araucanians is solar, and begins on the 22d of December, or immediately after the southern solstice, which they call Thaumathipantu, or the head and tail of the year, and are able to ascertain this period with tolerable precision by means of watching the shadows. The 22d of June is called Udanthipantu, the divider of the year, as dividing it into two equal parts.

He always carried two watches, I doubt if he told why, any more than Dr. Johnson told what he did with the orange-peel, but probably with reference to this virtue. He was as much to be depended upon at the appointed time as the solstice or the equinox.

The half year of decreasing days, extending from the Summer to the Winter Solstice, was personified by the figure, which, representing the constellations of Leo and Aquila, and composed of the winged body and limbs of a lion, with the head of an eagle, was called the Seraphim. These last two personifications constituted the Archangels of the ancient Astral Worship. Last Quarter of the Year.

As, for instance, at the great New Year Festival, called by us 'The Sailing-Forth of the Ship of the Sun, which takes place at the commencement of the Spring solstice, a fire is kindled on the summit of the highest tower, and a Ship of gold rises from the centre of the flames, carrying the body of a slain virgin eastwards, . . 'tis wondrously performed! ... and I, like others, have gaped upon the splendor of the scene half-credulous, and wholly dazzled!

In Marseilles the Yule log used to be a great block of oak, which went by the name of calendeau or calignau; it was sprinkled with wine and oil, and the head of the house kindled it himself. "The Yule log plays a great part at the festival of the winter solstice in Perigord. The countryman thinks that it is best made of plum-tree, cherry, or oak, and that the larger it is the better.

This is the season also to dig new ditches, clean the old ones, and to prune the trees in the arbustum and the vines which are married to them, but be careful that you suspend most of your work during the fifteen days before and after the winter solstice: it is fitting, however, to set out some trees during this period, as, for example, elms. 8° December 24-February 7

On the other hand, in the great Babylonian epic, dealing with the adventures of a famous hero, Gilgamesh, Ishtar, who makes her appearance at the summer solstice, is a raging goddess who smites those who disobey her commands with wasting disease.

There has been a steady continual cold draught from the northward till the sun reached the solstice, so that the summers, in fact, have not commenced till the end of June. There is a good deal of general truth in this observation; certainly we seem to have lost our springs. I do not think I have heard it thunder this year up to the time of writing.

The more precise fixing of new year's day was accomplished through observation of the time of the so-called heliacal rising of the dog-star, Sirius, which bore the Egyptian name Sothis. It chances that, as viewed from about the region of Heliopolis, the sun at the time of the summer solstice occupies an apparent position in the heavens close to the dog-star.

This battle was fought about the summer solstice, the moon being at full, the very same day in which the sad disaster of the Fabii had happened, when three hundred of that name were at one time cut off by the Tuscans.