Orthodox Jews celebrating Birkat Hachama, the blessing of the sun.
Hundreds of Orthodox Jews gathered today (8th of April 2009) in Springfield park, Stamford Hill, to celebrate the festival of Birkat Hachama (blessing of the sun). It is a Jewish blessing that is recited in appreciation of the Sun once every twenty-eight years, when the vernal equinox as calculated by tradition falls on a Tuesday at sundown. Jewish tradition says that when the Sun completes this cycle, it has returned to its position when the world was created. According to Judaism, the Sun has a 28 year solar cycle known as machzor gadol (מחזור גדול, "the large cycle"). A solar year is estimated as 365.25 days and the "Blessing of the Sun", being said at the beginning of this cycle, is therefore recited every 10,227 (28 times 365.25) daysAdd to Cart Add to Lightbox Download