In ancient Egypt's fifth dynasty the sun, in the form of the god Ra, was widely worshipped. Ra became a state deity and all manner of solar temples, pyramids and obelisks were built in his honour. In Aztec mythology Tonatiuh was the sun god. Up to twenty thousand people per year were sacrificed in his name. The Greeks, Romans, Saxons, Norsemen and Germanic tribes all had a day of the sun and it is from those languages that our own Sunday comes. In the early nineteenth century, Turner painted the astonishing Sun Rising Through Vapour. In 1930 DH Lawrence was inspired to write, "I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me".
On the 27th of July, 2009, the sun came out in York and a substantial proportion of its population, including myself, were inspired to go and stand in the Post Office. I don't know which emotion I feel more strongly, shame or despair.