The Easter Morning Sun Dance: A Christian Tradition
The Sun Dance (The Son Dance)
About five or six years ago, a good friend asked me if I had ever heard about sun shouting on Easter Sunday morning. "Shouting" is a phrase used in Christian charismatic churches when people feel the Holy Spirit and begin to praise through dance.
My friend said that from childhood, she had been told to pay attention to the sun on the morning we celebrate the resurrection of Christ (Easter) because when the sun came up, it was shouting and celebrating the Son (Jesus). I began to pay attention a few Easters ago, and there did seem to be a difference in the way the sun rose. It was not anything I could put into words, and I thought perhaps I had imagined it, so I decided to research this phenomenon.
This tradition began hundreds of years ago when people from Polperro to Derbyshire went to Castleton to climb a prominent hill at 6:00 AM to watch the sun dancing in celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Girls would use smoked glass to view the sun. It has also been suggested that villagers would tell children to look at the reflection of the sun in a barrel of water. When the water rippled, the children believed the sun was dancing for the Son.
In Worksop, Nottinghamshire, a local newspaper columnist by the name of Thomas Ratcliffe said that when he was a child, his mother took him to a location about half a mile from their home. He said that on that particular Easter, as a gentle wind was blowing, he indeed saw the sun dancing
My Personal Experience
In 2018, the Easter morning sun rose and went immediately into the clouds. In 2019, it was cold, windy, and cloudy, and I could not see a thing. In 2020, the forecast said Resurrection Sunday would be cold, cloudy, and rainy. I asked my husband to agree with me in prayer that the sun would shine so my friend could see it shout. On Saturday, the forecast still said cloudy with the chance of rain.
I woke up at 2:00 AM on Easter morning, went outside, and talked to the elements, saying I needed the clouds to roll back and bring sunshine. At 6:00, the sky was cloudy, but I kept going back to look, and at about 6:50, I saw a beautiful sight. I could not see the actual sun because of the clouds, but through them, the sky was a vibrant, rich orange-red. I had never seen a morning sky like that before. It seemed as if the heavens were on fire. As I continued to watch, the sun began to move upward through the mass of clouds, and finally, it burst through and seemed brighter and a little larger than on other mornings. And yes, to me it seemed as though our favorite star was dancing. It was a glorious sight.
Worship the Creator (Not His Creation)
The photo accompanying this article is one I took on Easter morning, 2020. The above video is from April 10th, 2014, which was two weeks prior to Easter, but it gives a better image of the sun dancing in the sky. The fact that this video was not on the Sunday of the resurrection indicates that the Lord can do with His creation what He desires anytime He chooses. I noticed in both my photo as well as the video that there was an orb included. I have seen this often when I take photos of the sun, but am not sure what it is. If the sun shouts on Easter because of the resurrection of Christ, I have no explanation as to why it also does so on random occasions.
Believers know that we worship the Creator and His Son and not the creation, but He can send signs whenever He desires. I used to take pleasure in the fact that in three different houses I have lived in, my tulips always bloomed the week of Easter. I've seen them in other places blooming as early as February, but mine always coincided with the celebration of Christ's resurrection.
This year, the man who cut my grass accidentally cut the tulips before the bulbs began to show. I was disappointed, but I realized that I walk by faith and not by sight. Perhaps my seeing the blazing sun beneath the clouds and as it danced up into the sky was my reward for not being too caught up in the tulips. Shortly after that amazing sunrise, it began to become cloudy and remained so all day.