stars of Yemen

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The forty days of water

***** Location: Yemen
***** Season: Late Summer
***** Category: Heaven


The agriculturalmarker stars in Yemeni folklore
Hofstra University,Hempstead,New York

The lunar stations represent the order of stars along the moon's path, with the moon lying in one of the twenty-eight stations each day of its orbit around the earth. After about 27l/, days the moon begins its course again through the same set of stars. Since the plane of the moon's orbit differs only about five degrees from that of the sun, these lunar stations are in fact derived from the zodiacal constellations (Sternbild [german] = Burg or Burj [Arabic])….

…..An interesting example of the problems involved in adapting local star lore toa formal astronomical grid is found in the sequence of marker stars fromal-rawabic al-815 to siibic call6n.g The word callan, derived from the pre-Islamic Himyaritic month name for September, survives in al-Ahjur of the central highlands as a term for the late summer or early autumn rains.

In the marker system calliin covers the risings in late fall of three stars of the Ursa Major (baniit nacsh) constellation. In Arabic taxonomy, these are the three "daughters" that accompany the funeral bier, or square of stars referred tohere as rawabic. The rising oft he seven main stars of Ursa Major in the late summer and early fall is of great importance in Yemeni agriculture, so much so that the names of the stars may be given to crops. Although the stars of call6n rise in the same general season, it is not the case that the individual stars rise at the intervals demanded in the marker system…..

The period of rain is known as the forty days of kharq, a term used in Yemen for the late summer rains rather than for the autumn of the four-season model. Al-Hattiir adds that this time is called the forty days of water, due to the expected rainfall. The season begins witha period called the first (awwal),a reference in this case to the dawn rising of the first of the seven stars of Ursa Major, which is known as baniit nacsh in Arab astronomy. There are in fact seven periods,from the first star through the seventh …."

source : thelastlionofthealhambra.com (PDF file)

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


the forty days of water
through my future salad

Heike Gewi, Yemen

Related words

Star Canopus or in arabic Suhayl or refering to the chinese Star of Old Age,
Star of the Old Man
season: summer, summer rains = monsoon rains

Alpha Carinae
source : www.oneminuteastronomer.com

rain ripples
the silence of the birds
Star of Old Age

Heike Gewi


Rising of Sirius
; Star Sirius; Sirius; brightest star
season : midsummer, intense summer heat

source : the last lion of the alhambra.com

A smile
aimed at the new dawn ...
Rising of Sirius

I chose
to grapple with words
... the brightest star

Heike Gewi


. Star, Stars (hoshi 星) .



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