Over the 3 week period of the exhibition 83,000 people came to the church to see the Moon. The BBC reported 16,000 people visited the installation each day, which was the most number of visitors the church had in its 750 year history!
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Russell Fallon and culture orchestra
The Man in the Moon
Here in the Northern hemisphere, in the western world we can see a face, or man in the Moon. The images are actually composed of the dark areas of the lunar maria, or “seas” and the lighter highlands of the lunar surface. These vast, flat spots on the moon are called “maria” or “seas” because, for a long time, astronomers believed they were large bodies of water. They are actually large areas formed by lava that covered up old craters and then cooled, becoming smooth, basalt rock.
There are various explanations for how the Man in the Moon came to be. A longstanding European tradition holds that the man was banished to the moon for some crime. Christian lore commonly held that he is the man described in the bible (book of Numbers XV.32-36), caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath and sentenced by God to death by stoning.
There is also a traditional belief that the Man in the Moon enjoyed drinking, especially claret. An old ballad runs (original spelling):
Our man in the moon drinks clarret,
With powder-beef, turnep, and carret.
If he doth so, why should not you
Drink until the sky looks blew?
In the English Middle Ages and renaissance, the moon was held to be the god of drunkards, and at least three London taverns were named “The Man in the Moone”
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