Solar alignment lights up ancient Egyptian temples

Ahram Online , Monday 21 Dec 2015

Ancient pharaohs used solar alignment to mark the beginning of winter solstice which starts on 21 December

People gathering Monday at the Karun Palace temple to watch dawn solar alignment, Fayoum, Egypt, Decembre 21, 2015 (Photo: Fayoum Governorate Facebook page)

The sun on Monday illuminated the holiest part of the Karun Palace temple at dawn, a rare astronomical phenomenon that happens twice a year.

At sunrise, the sun sent a beam of light onto the sanctum of the ancient site in Fayoum, south of Cairo, lighting the sacred room for a short period of time.

Elsewhere, hundreds of tourists gathered on Monday to watch the solar alignment in the Karnak temple in Luxor, one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.

Ancient pharaohs used solar alignment, that falls on December 21 every year, to mark the beginning of winter solstice -- an astronomical event that occurs in the northern hemisphere marking the longest night and shortest day of the year.

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