A day in Palestine: Sunset

Shadows already cover the valleys, but the hilly slopes are bathed in a golden light. A band of golden yellow shines on the western horizon. Above it, the sky changes to a subtle green and then into deeper blue. At times, the sunset is dominated by a strong red light.
In the East, shades of red reflect the sun’s last rays, while the valleys appear in greyish purple.
Dalman gives exact measurements for dusk, as observed on 4. October 1908:
civil dusk 31 minutes in Jerusalem (compared to 43 minutes in Berlin)
astronomical dusk 75 minutes in Jerusalem (compared to 102 minutes in Berlin).

The disappearance of the warming rays of the sun is immediately felt in Palestine, where there are few places to seek shade. People often start to shiver, as they have to adjust quickly to the change in temperature. At this time everybody seeks to be under their own roof or that of a host, even if it is only a Bedouin tent. Any traveller still on the road will speed up to get to a hospitable place quickly. Dalman relates from personal experience that animals often have a more stable footing than humans as light fades. Many people let the donkey lead, when they hasten home in the coming dark.

The time after sunset, when there is still daylight, is called “between the suns.” According to tradition, Adam and Eve were evicted from paradise at this time.

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