The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the Sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space. Winds are classified by their spatial scale, their speed, the types of forces that cause them, the regions in which they occur, their effect; the strongest observed winds on a planet in the Solar System occur on Saturn. Winds have various aspects. Wind is a great source of transportation for seeds and small birds. In meteorology, winds are referred to according to their strength, the direction from which the wind is blowing. Short bursts of high-speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale and hurricane. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, to global winds resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the climate zones on Earth.
The two main causes of large-scale atmospheric circulation are the differential heating between the equator and the poles, the rotation of the planet. Within the tropics, thermal low circulations over terrain and high plateaus can drive monsoon circulations. In coastal areas the sea breeze/land. In human civilization, the concept of wind has been explored in mythology, influenced the events of history, expanded the range of transport and warfare, provided a power source for mechanical work and recreation. Wind powers the voyages of sailing ships across Earth's oceans. Hot air balloons use the wind to take short trips, powered flight uses it to increase lift and reduce fuel consumption. Areas of wind shear caused by various weather phenomena can lead to dangerous situations for aircraft; when winds become strong and human-made structures are damaged or destroyed. Winds can shape landforms, via a variety of aeolian processes such as the formation of fertile soils, such as loess, by erosion. Dust from large deserts can be moved great distances from its source region by the prevailing winds.
Wind affects the spread of wildfires. Winds can disperse seeds from various plants, enabling the survival and dispersal of those plant species, as well as flying insect populations; when combined with cold temperatures, wind has a negative impact on livestock. Wind affects animals' food stores, as well as defensive strategies. Wind is caused by differences in the atmospheric pressure; when a difference in atmospheric pressure exists, air moves from the higher to the lower pressure area, resulting in winds of various speeds. On a rotating planet, air will be deflected by the Coriolis effect, except on the equator. Globally, the two major driving factors of large-scale wind patterns are the differential heating between the equator and the poles and the rotation of the planet. Outside the tropics and aloft from frictional effects of the surface, the large-scale winds tend to approach geostrophic balance. Near the Earth's surface, friction causes the wind to be slower. Surface friction causes winds to blow more inward into low-pressure areas.
Winds defined by an equilibrium of physical forces are used in the decomposition and analysis of wind profiles. They are useful for simplifying the atmospheric equations of motion and for making qualitative arguments about the horizontal and vertical distribution of winds; the geostrophic wind component is the result of the balance between Coriolis force and pressure gradient force. It flows parallel to isobars and approximates the flow above the atmospheric boundary layer in the midlatitudes; the thermal wind is the difference in the geostrophic wind between two levels in the atmosphere. It exists only in an atmosphere with horizontal temperature gradients; the ageostrophic wind component is the difference between actual and geostrophic wind, responsible for air "filling up" cyclones over time. The gradient wind is similar to the geostrophic wind but includes centrifugal force. Wind direction is expressed in terms of the direction from which it originates. For example, a northerly wind blows from the north to the south.
Weather vanes pivot to indicate the direction of the wind. At airports, windsocks indicate wind direction, can be used to estimate wind speed by the angle of hang. Wind speed is measured by anemometers, most using rotating cups or propellers; when a high measurement frequency is needed, wind can be measured by the propagation speed of ultrasound signals or by the effect of ventilation on the resistance of a heated wire. Another type of anemometer uses pitot tubes that take advantage of the pressure differential between an inner tube and an outer tube, exposed to the wind to determine the dynamic pressure, used
Snow refers to forms of ice crystals that precipitate from the atmosphere and undergo changes on the Earth's surface. It pertains to frozen crystalline water throughout its life cycle, starting when, under suitable conditions, the ice crystals form in the atmosphere, increase to millimeter size and accumulate on surfaces metamorphose in place, melt, slide or sublimate away. Snowstorms develop by feeding on sources of atmospheric moisture and cold air. Snowflakes nucleate around particles in the atmosphere by attracting supercooled water droplets, which freeze in hexagonal-shaped crystals. Snowflakes take on a variety of shapes, basic among these are platelets, needles and rime; as snow accumulates into a snowpack, it may blow into drifts. Over time, accumulated snow metamorphoses, by sintering and freeze-thaw. Where the climate is cold enough for year-to-year accumulation, a glacier may form. Otherwise, snow melts seasonally, causing runoff into streams and rivers and recharging groundwater. Major snow-prone areas include the polar regions, the upper half of the Northern Hemisphere and mountainous regions worldwide with sufficient moisture and cold temperatures.
In the Southern Hemisphere, snow is confined to mountainous areas, apart from Antarctica. Snow affects such human activities as transportation: creating the need for keeping roadways and windows clear. Snow affects ecosystems, as well, by providing an insulating layer during winter under which plants and animals are able to survive the cold. Snow develops in clouds; the physics of snow crystal development in clouds results from a complex set of variables that include moisture content and temperatures. The resulting shapes of the falling and fallen crystals can be classified into a number of basic shapes and combinations, thereof; some plate-like and stellar-shaped snowflakes can form under clear sky with a cold temperature inversion present. Snow clouds occur in the context of larger weather systems, the most important of, the low pressure area, which incorporate warm and cold fronts as part of their circulation. Two additional and locally productive sources of snow are lake-effect storms and elevation effects in mountains.
Mid-latitude cyclones are low pressure areas which are capable of producing anything from cloudiness and mild snow storms to heavy blizzards. During a hemisphere's fall and spring, the atmosphere over continents can be cold enough through the depth of the troposphere to cause snowfall. In the Northern Hemisphere, the northern side of the low pressure area produces the most snow. For the southern mid-latitudes, the side of a cyclone that produces the most snow is the southern side. A cold front, the leading edge of a cooler mass of air, can produce frontal snowsqualls—an intense frontal convective line, when temperature is near freezing at the surface; the strong convection that develops has enough moisture to produce whiteout conditions at places which line passes over as the wind causes intense blowing snow. This type of snowsquall lasts less than 30 minutes at any point along its path but the motion of the line can cover large distances. Frontal squalls may form a short distance ahead of the surface cold front or behind the cold front where there may be a deepening low pressure system or a series of trough lines which act similar to a traditional cold frontal passage.
In situations where squalls develop post-frontally it is not unusual to have two or three linear squall bands pass in rapid succession only separated by 25 miles with each passing the same point in 30 minutes apart. In cases where there is a large amount of vertical growth and mixing the squall may develop embedded cumulonimbus clouds resulting in lightning and thunder, dubbed thundersnow. A warm front can produce snow for a period, as warm, moist air overrides below-freezing air and creates precipitation at the boundary. Snow transitions to rain in the warm sector behind the front. Lake-effect snow is produced during cooler atmospheric conditions when a cold air mass moves across long expanses of warmer lake water, warming the lower layer of air which picks up water vapor from the lake, rises up through the colder air above, freezes and is deposited on the leeward shores; the same effect occurs over bodies of salt water, when it is termed ocean-effect or bay-effect snow. The effect is enhanced when the moving air mass is uplifted by the orographic influence of higher elevations on the downwind shores.
This uplifting can produce narrow but intense bands of precipitation, which deposit at a rate of many inches of snow each hour resulting in a large amount of total snowfall. The areas affected by lake-effect snow are called snowbelts; these include areas east of the Great Lakes, the west coasts of northern Japan, the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, areas near the Great Salt Lake, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Baltic Sea, parts of the northern Atlantic Ocean. Orographic or relief snowfall is caused when masses of air pushed by wind are forced up the side of elevated land formations, such as large mountains; the lifting of air up the side of a mountain or range results in adiabatic cooling, condensation and precipitation. Moisture is removed by orographic lift, leaving drier, warmer air on the leeward side; the resulting enhanced productivity of snow fall and the decrease in temperature with elevation means that snow depth
Summer is the hottest of the four temperate seasons, falling after spring and before autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice; the date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate and culture. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, vice versa. From an astronomical view, the equinoxes and solstices would be the middle of the respective seasons, but sometimes astronomical summer is defined as starting at the solstice, the time of maximal insolation identified with the 21st day of June or December. A variable seasonal lag means that the meteorological center of the season, based on average temperature patterns, occurs several weeks after the time of maximal insolation; the meteorological convention is to define summer as comprising the months of June and August in the northern hemisphere and the months of December and February in the southern hemisphere.
Under meteorological definitions, all seasons are arbitrarily set to start at the beginning of a calendar month and end at the end of a month. This meteorological definition of summer aligns with the viewed notion of summer as the season with the longest days of the year, in which daylight predominates; the meteorological reckoning of seasons is used in Australia, Denmark and Japan. It is used by many in the United Kingdom. In Ireland, the summer months according to the national meteorological service, Met Éireann, are June and August. However, according to the Irish Calendar, summer ends on 1 August. School textbooks in Ireland follow the cultural norm of summer commencing on 1 May rather than the meteorological definition of 1 June. Days continue to lengthen from equinox to solstice and summer days progressively shorten after the solstice, so meteorological summer encompasses the build-up to the longest day and a diminishing thereafter, with summer having many more hours of daylight than spring.
Reckoning by hours of daylight alone, summer solstice marks the midpoint, not the beginning, of the seasons. Midsummer takes place over the shortest night of the year, the summer solstice, or on a nearby date that varies with tradition. Where a seasonal lag of half a season or more is common, reckoning based on astronomical markers is shifted half a season. By this method, in North America, summer is the period from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox. Reckoning by cultural festivals, the summer season in the United States is traditionally regarded as beginning on Memorial Day weekend and ending on Labor Day, more in line with the meteorological definition for the parts of the country that have four-season weather; the similar Canadian tradition starts summer on Victoria Day one week prior and ends, as in the United States, on Labour Day. In Chinese astronomy, summer starts on or around 5 May, with the jiéqì known as lìxià, i.e. "establishment of summer", it ends on or around 6 August.
In southern and southeast Asia, where the monsoon occurs, summer is more defined as lasting from March, April and June, the warmest time of the year, ending with the onset of the monsoon rains. Because the temperature lag is shorter in the oceanic temperate southern hemisphere, most countries in this region use the meteorological definition with summer starting on 1 December and ending on the last day of February. Summer is traditionally associated with warm weather. In the Mediterranean regions, it is associated with dry weather, while in other places it is associated with rainy weather; the wet season is the main period of vegetation growth within the savanna climate regime. Where the wet season is associated with a seasonal shift in the prevailing winds, it is known as a monsoon. In the northern Atlantic Ocean, a distinct tropical cyclone season occurs from 1 June to 30 November; the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is 10 September. The Northeast Pacific Ocean has a broader period of activity, but in a similar time frame to the Atlantic.
The Northwest Pacific sees tropical cyclones year-round, with a minimum in February and March and a peak in early September. In the North Indian basin, storms are most common from April to December, with peaks in May and November. In the Southern Hemisphere, the tropical cyclone season runs from 1 November until the end of April with peaks in mid-February to early March. Thunderstorm season in the United States and Canada runs in the spring through summer; these storms can produce hail, strong winds and tornadoes during the afternoon and evening. Schools and universities have a summer break to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days. In all countries, children are out of school during this time of year for summer break, although dates vary. In the United States, public schools end in late May in Memorial Day weekend, while colleges finish in early May, although some schools get out on the last or second last Thursday in May. In England and Wales, school resumes again in early September.
In Canada the summer holiday starts on the last or second-last Friday in June and ends in late August or on the first Monday of September, with the exception of when that date falls before Labour Day, in which case, ends on the second Monday of the month. In Russia the summer
The Horned Serpent appears in the mythologies of many Native Americans. Details vary among tribes, with many of the stories associating the mystical figure with water, rain and thunder. Horned Serpents were major components of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of North American prehistory. Horned serpents appear in European and Near Eastern mythology. Horned serpents appear in the oral history of numerous Native American cultures in the Southeastern Woodlands and Great Lakes. Muscogee Creek traditions include a Horned Serpent and a Tie-Snake, estakwvnayv in the Muscogee Creek language; these are sometimes interpreted as being the same creature and sometimes different—similar, but the Horned Serpent is larger than the Tie-Snake. To the Muscogee people, the Horned Serpent is a type of underwater serpent covered with iridescent, crystalline scales and a single, large crystal in its forehead. Both the scales and crystals are prized for their powers of divination; the horns, called chitto gab-by, were used in medicine.
Jackson Lewis, a Muscogee Creek informant to John R. Swanton, said, "This snake lives in the water has horns like the stag, it is not a bad snake.... It does not harm human beings but seems to have a magnetic power over game." In stories, the Horned Serpent enjoyed eating Rhus glabra. Alabama people call the Horned Serpent, tcinto såktco or "crawfish snake", which they divide into four classifications based on its horns' colors, which can be blue, white, or yellow. Yuchi people made effigies of the Horned Serpent as as 1905. An effigy was fashioned from painted blue, with the antlers painted yellow; the Yuchi Big Turtle Dance honors the Horned Serpent's spirit, related to storms, lightning and rainbows. Among Cherokee people, a Horned Serpent is called an uktena. Anthropologist James Mooney, describes the creature: Those who know say the Uktena is a great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, a bright blazing crest like a diamond on its forehead, scales glowing like sparks of fire.
It has rings or spots of color along its whole length, can not be wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from the head, because under this spot are its heart and its life. The blazing diamond is called Ulun'suti—"Transparent"—and he who can win it may become the greatest wonder worker of the tribe, but it is worth a man's life to attempt it, for whoever is seen by the Uktena is so dazed by the bright light that he runs toward the snake instead of trying to escape. As if this were not enough, the breath of the Uktena is so pestilential, that no living creature can survive should they inhale the tiniest bit of the foul air expelled by the Uktena. To see the Uktena asleep is death, not to the hunter himself, but to his family. According to Sioux belief, the Unhcegila are dangerous reptilian water monsters that lived in ancient times, they were of various shapes. In the end the Thunderbirds destroyed them, except for small species like lizards; this belief may have been inspired by finds of dinosaur fossils in Sioux tribal territory.
The Thunderbird may have been inspired by finds of pterosaur skeletons. Awanyu—Tewa Misi-kinepikw —Cree Msi-kinepikwa —Shawnee Misi-ginebig —Oji-Cree Mishi-ginebig —Ojibwe Pita-skog —Abenaki Sinti lapitta—Choctaw Unktehi or Unktehila—Dakota Olobit—Natchez Uktena—aniyunwiya The ram-horned serpent is a well-attested cult image of north-west Europe before and during the Roman period, it appears three times on the Gundestrup cauldron, in Romano-Celtic Gaul was associated with the horned or antlered god Cernunnos, in whose company it is depicted. This pairing is found as early as the fourth century BC in Northern Italy, where a huge antlered figure with torcs and a serpent was carved on the rocks in Val Camonica. A bronze image at Étang-sur-Arroux and a stone sculpture at Sommerécourt depict Cernunnos' body encircled by two horned snakes that feed from bowls of fruit and corn-mash in the god's lap. At Sommerécourt is a sculpture of a goddess holding a cornucopia and a pomegranate, with a horned serpent eating from a bowl of food.
At Yzeures-sur-Creuse a carved youth has a ram-horned snake twined around his legs, with its head at his stomach. At Cirencester, Cernunnos' legs are two snakes which rear up on each side of his head and are eating fruit or corn. According to Miranda Green, the snakes reflect the peaceful nature of the god, associated with nature and fruitfulness, accentuate his association with regeneration. Other deities accompanied by ram-horned serpents include "Celtic Mars" and "Celtic Mercury"; the horned snake, conventional snakes, appear together with the solar wheel as attributes of the sun or sky god. The description of Unktehi or Unktena is, more similar to that of a Lindorm in Northern Europe in Southern Scandinavia, most of all as described in folklore in Eastern Denmark. There, too, it is a water creature of huge dimensions, while in Southern Sweden it is a huge snake, the sight of, deadly; this latter characteristic is reminiscent of the basilisk. In Mesopotamian mythology Ningishzida, is sometimes depicted as a serpent with horns.
In other depictions, he is accompanied by bashmu, horned serpents. Ningishzida shares "great serpent", with several other Mesopotamian gods. Avanyu Coi Coi-Vilu Chinese dragon Feathered Serpent Kukulcan Lindworm Moñái Nāga Quetzalcoatl Sidewinder rattlesnake of the American Southwest, a living "horned serpent" Kitchi-at'Husis and Weewilmekq Tciptckaam Horned deity
Autumn known as fall in American English and sometimes in Canadian English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September or March, when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools considerably. One of its main features in temperate climates is the shedding of leaves from deciduous trees; some cultures regard the autumnal equinox as "mid-autumn", while others with a longer temperature lag treat it as the start of autumn. Meteorologists use a definition based on Gregorian calendar months, with autumn being September and November in the northern hemisphere, March and May in the southern hemisphere. In North America, autumn traditionally starts on September 21 and ends on December 21, it is considered to end with the winter solstice. Popular culture in the United States associates Labor Day, the first Monday in September, as the end of summer and the start of autumn; as daytime and nighttime temperatures decrease, trees shed their leaves.
In traditional East Asian solar term, autumn starts on or around 8 August and ends on or about 7 November. In Ireland, the autumn months according to the national meteorological service, Met Éireann, are September and November. However, according to the Irish Calendar, based on ancient Gaelic traditions, autumn lasts throughout the months of August and October, or a few days depending on tradition; the names of the months in Manx Gaelic are based on autumn covering August and October. In Argentina and New Zealand, autumn begins on 1 March and ends on 31 May; the word autumn comes from the ancient Etruscan root autu- and has within it connotations of the passing of the year. It was borrowed by the neighbouring Romans, became the Latin word autumnus. After the Roman era, the word continued to be used as the Old French word autompne or autumpne in Middle English, was normalised to the original Latin. In the Medieval period, there are rare examples of its use as early as the 12th century, but by the 16th century, it was in common use.
Before the 16th century, harvest was the term used to refer to the season, as it is common in other West Germanic languages to this day. However, as more people moved from working the land to living in towns, the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping, autumn, as well as fall, began to replace it as a reference to the season; the alternative word fall for the season traces its origins to old Germanic languages. The exact derivation is unclear, with the Old English fiæll or feallan and the Old Norse fall all being possible candidates. However, these words all have the meaning "to fall from a height" and are derived either from a common root or from each other; the term came to denote the season in 16th-century England, a contraction of Middle English expressions like "fall of the leaf" and "fall of the year". During the 17th century, English emigration to the British colonies in North America was at its peak, the new settlers took the English language with them.
While the term fall became obsolete in Britain, it became the more common term in North America. The name backend, a once common name for the season in Northern England, has today been replaced by the name autumn. Association with the transition from warm to cold weather, its related status as the season of the primary harvest, has dominated its themes and popular images. In Western cultures, personifications of autumn are pretty, well-fed females adorned with fruits and grains that ripen at this time. Many cultures feature autumnal harvest festivals the most important on their calendars. Still extant echoes of these celebrations are found in the autumn Thanksgiving holiday of the United States and Canada, the Jewish Sukkot holiday with its roots as a full-moon harvest festival of "tabernacles". There are the many North American Indian festivals tied to harvest of ripe foods gathered in the wild, the Chinese Mid-Autumn or Moon festival, many others; the predominant mood of these autumnal celebrations is a gladness for the fruits of the earth mixed with a certain melancholy linked to the imminent arrival of harsh weather.
This view is presented in English poet John Keats' poem To Autumn, where he describes the season as a time of bounteous fecundity, a time of'mellow fruitfulness'. In North America, while most foods are harvested during the autumn, foods associated with the season include pumpkins and apples, which are used to make the seasonal beverage apple cider. Autumn in poetry, has been associated with melancholia; the possibilities and opportunities of summer are gone, the chill of winter is on the horizon. Skies turn grey, the amount of usable daylight drops and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally, it has been referred to as an unhealthy season. Similar examples may be found in Irish poet William Butler Yeats' poem The Wild Swans at Coole where the maturing season that the poet observes symbolically represents his own ageing self. Like the natural world that he observes, he too has reached his prime and now must look forward to the inevitability of old age and death. French p
A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms; the Sun is sometimes referred to by its Greek name Helios. The English word sun stems from Proto-Germanic *sunnǭ; the Neolithic concept of a "solar barge" is found in the myths of ancient Egypt, with Ra and Horus. Predynasty Egyptian beliefs attribute Atum as Horus as a god of the sky and sun; as the Old Kingdom theocracy gained power, early beliefs were incorporated with the expanding popularity of Ra and the Osiris-Horus mythology. Atum became Ra-Atum, the rays of the setting sun. Osiris became the divine heir to Atum's power on Earth and passes his divine authority to his son Horus. Early Egyptian myths imply the sun is within the lioness, Sekhmet, at night and is reflected in her eyes. Mesopotamian Shamash plays an important role during the Bronze Age, "my Sun" is used as an address to royalty.
South American cultures have a tradition of Sun worship, as with the Incan Inti. Proto-Indo-European religion has the sun as traversing the sky in a chariot. In Germanic mythology this is Sol, in Vedic Surya, in Greek Helios and as Apollo. In Proto-indo-European mythology the sun appears to be a multilayered figure, manifested as a goddess but perceived as the eye of the sky father Dyeus. During the Roman Empire, a festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun was celebrated on the winter solstice—the "rebirth" of the sun—which occurred on December 25 of the Julian calendar. In late antiquity, the theological centrality of the sun in some Imperial religious systems suggest a form of a "solar monotheism"; the religious commemorations on December 25 were replaced under Christian domination of the Empire with the birthday of Christ. The Tiv people consider the Sun to be the son of the supreme being Awondo and the Moon Awondo's daughter; the Barotse tribe believes that the Sun is inhabited by the sky god Nyambi and the Moon is his wife.
Some Sara people worship the sun. Where the sun god is equated with the supreme being, in some African mythologies he or she does not have any special functions or privileges as compared to other deities; the ancient Egyptian god of creation, Amun is believed to reside inside the sun. So is the Akan creator deity and the Dogon deity of creation, Nommo. In Egypt, there was a religion that worshipped the sun directly, was among the first monotheistic religions: Atenism. Sun worship was prevalent in ancient Egyptian religion; the earliest deities associated with the sun are all goddesses: Wadjet, Hathor, Bast and Menhit. First Hathor, Isis, give birth to and nurse Horus and Ra. Hathor the horned-cow is one of the 12 daughters of Ra, is a wet-nurse to Horus. From at least the 4th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, the sun was worshipped as the deity Re, portrayed as a falcon headed god surmounted by the solar disk, surrounded by a serpent. Re gave warmth to the living body, symbolised as an ankh: a "T" shaped amulet with a looped upper half.
The ankh, it was believed, was surrendered with death, but could be preserved in the corpse with appropriate mummification and funerary rites. The supremacy of Re in the Egyptian pantheon was at its highest with the 5th Dynasty, when open air solar temples became common. In the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Ra lost some of his preeminence to Osiris, lord of the West, judge of the dead. In the New Empire period, the sun became identified with the dung beetle, whose spherical ball of dung was identified with the sun. In the form of the sun disc Aten, the sun had a brief resurgence during the Amarna Period when it again became the preeminent, if not only, divinity for the Pharaoh Akhenaton; the Sun's movement across the sky represents a struggle between the Pharaoh's soul and an avatar of Osiris. Ra travels across the sky in his solar-boat; the "solarisation" of several local gods reaches its peak in the period of the fifth dynasty. Rituals to the god Amun who became identified with the sun god Ra were carried out on the top of temple pylons.
A Pylon mirrored the hieroglyph for'horizon' or akhet, a depiction of two hills "between which the sun rose and set", associated with recreation and rebirth. On the first Pylon of the temple of Isis at Philae, the pharaoh is shown slaying his enemies in the presence of Isis and Hathor. In the eighteenth dynasty, the earliest-known monotheistic head of state, Akhenaten changed the polytheistic religion of Egypt to a monotheistic one, Atenism of the solar-disk and is the first recorded state monotheism. All other deities were replaced by the Aten, including Amun-Ra, the reigning sun god of Akhenaten's own region. Unlike other deities, the Aten did not have multiple forms, his only image was a disk—a symbol of the sun. Soon after Akhenaten's death, worship of the traditional deities was reestablished by the religious leaders who had adopted the Aten during the reign of Akhenaten. In Aztec mythology, Tonatiuh was the sun god; the Aztec people considered him the leader of Tollan. He was known