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Iran: Festival of Sun Clocks to welcome arrival of summer

The longest day of the year which marks the coming of summer time will be celebrated in different cities of Iran through Sun Clocks Festival.

Tehran, 20 June 2006 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- Iran's Astronomy Association will welcome the coming of summer on 21st of June, the longest day of the year, by holding the festival of Sun Clocks in the Museum of Tamashagah Zaman or Time Museum in Tehran.

"The Festival of Sun Clocks is being held in order to once again emphasize the history of science and astronomical calculations in our country and to discuss its modern usage," said Mohsen Iraji, secretary of the Sun Clocks Festival.

According to Iraji, this program consists of two sections: a seminar and a festival. In the seminar which will start at 10 am, some astronomy scholars will give lectures about this ancient science. The topic of these lectures will be as follows: "Ancient Astronomy and Calendar" to be presented by Farid Qasemlou, "Festival of Sun Clocks in Italy" by Babak Amin Tafreshi, "Sun Clocks and their Constructions" by Fatemeh Azim Lou, "Ancient Sun Clocks in Iran and in the World" by Pourya Nazemi, and "Sun Clocks" by Mohsen Iraji.

The festival section will be held in the open space of the museum. By holding a workshop for making sun clocks with papers, the participants will have the chance to get familiar with the operating system of these clocks, although they would not be making systematic sun clocks. Sun sighting, exhibition of sun clocks made by children and young adults, and an exhibition of the sun clocks made by Mohammad Asghari, a sculptor, will be the other programs of this festival. According to Iraji, the best sun clock will be chosen by experts who will make their selection based on the accuracy and beauty of the clock.

"There exist a unique characteristic about Iranian sun clocks: A piece of advice about the best use of time is written on most of them. Therefore, we have asked those who take part in the sun clock making competition to write a sentence advising people about the value of time and how it must be used, and we will choose the best one among all," added Iraji.

Considering that a large number of unknown and forgotten antique sun clock may exists in houses and other places, the people have been asked to participate in the project for identifying and introducing sun clocks which have been forgotten in case they own any of them. "More than 2000 sun clocks were found in Egypt during the last 4 years and in France some 20,000 sun clocks have been discovered within 30 years by ordinary people. This festival could be a starting point for collecting and introducing these clocks to the people," said Iraji.

With unveiling the bronze sun clock which is made by Mohammad Asghari and Mitra Rad to be granted to the Museum of Clock, at 3:55 pm on 21st of June, the festival of sun clocks will be finished.

Festival of Sun Clocks is a national festival which will be held in different cities of Iran tomorrow, marking the arrival of summer. Also, on this occasion some special programs will be held in the city of Rasht, capital of Gilan province, which enjoys the most developed technology in making accurate sun clocks. Isfahan, Mashhad, and Tabriz are the other cities in which the festival of Sun Clocks will also be held in form of seminars and other programs with the participation of astronomy experts and research centers.

... Payvand News - 6/20/06 ... --

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