It’s a not so exciting week here. A little rain, a bit of snow that didn’t stick, a trip to the grocery store – you know all the exciting stuff of life. Today is a little special because sun set was at 4:59 pm.
Tomorrow it will be exactly at 5:00 pm. Okay, maybe most of you don’t follow the exact time of sunset, but it’s something I keep track of. Mostly this is because I don’t like the short days of winter and I want to have longer days.
It also reminds me of Taps – you know, the bugle call we play at military burials. Now before it started to be used at burials it was actually played by the US Army as the “lights out” call at forts, camps or wherever the troops happened to be. In the morning you’d get woken up to the bugle playing reveille. If that didn’t get you out of bed, rest assured that a sergeant’s boot would be the next thing waking you up.
Armies throughout history have had many different ways to communicate with their soldiers and sometime in the last thousand years or so, trumpets and bugle calls became the way to do that. Which naturally leads me to remember the Tattoo. Not the kind on your skin, but a trump call that was used in Europe for troops garrisoned in a town. In those days, most of the soldiers after their daily duty was done, would wander to have a beer.
The word Tattoo derived from a Dutch phrase basically meaning, “Turn off the taps” which ordered inn keepers to close up and send the soldiers to their beds.
In modern times a Military Tattoo is a musical performance. These are done by Military music groups and are often formal or part of a ritual of some kind. Every nation has a different tradition here, but these still happen.
What does this all have to do with sunset? Not much, but the timer just went off so it’s pizza time – I’ll have to explain more later.