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Snowflake Cross

Ivan: "Did you know, that no two snowflakes are alike?"
Alexei: "Wow! You've been busy this winter!"

Snowflake Cross

Snowflake Cross
Snowflake Cross

A snowflake photographed by Wilson Bentley in 1902 (Click image for more)

Kiev Church
Kyiv Church

When water freezes, its molecules stack together to form a regular crystalline ice lattice, which has six-fold symmetry. It is because of this hexagonal crystal symmetry that practically all snowflakes have six arms. Most crosses have four main arms, but some have such a delicate, filigree appearance, that they remind us of snowflakes.

(Another cross with six arms is the Iota-Chi Cross.)

The Snowflake Cross is mainly seen as a jewellery item. However, we noticed in the photo on the right, a fine example the Snowflake Cross atop an old wooden church situated in the outskirts of the capital city Kiev in Ukraine.

This is an interesting example because usually crosses in this area have the Slavic Ukraine Orthodox design.

The Snowflake Cross is a cross adorned with a symmetrical arrangement of smaller crosses. The three small crosses on the top symbolise the Trinity and the three crosses of Calvary. The pairs of small crosses on the main crossbeam are the outstretched hands of Christ. The central 'X' cross, which also appears in the Baptismal Cross and St. Andrew's Cross, points to Christianity's spread to the four corners of the world.

The spiky style also makes a useful lightning conductor. (..and here's a little story about another conductor)

Flag of Kukljica
Flag of Kukljica

In Croatia, there's an island called Ugljan, and on that island, a small community named Kukljica.

Snowflake of the flag of Kukljica

On 5 August there is a festival called Mary ad Nives (Our Lady of Snow), to remember how the Mother of God is believed to have founded a church on the spot where snow miraculously fell one summer. A sculpture is carried to the chapel in Kukljica by boat and the flag of this community bears a Snowflake Cross to symbolise this.

Perhaps one reason the cross on this old wooden Kyiv church (photo above) has survived so long, is because the intricate design prevents heavy eagles (orel) from using it as a perch!

St Mark's Basilica
Basilica di San Marco a Venezia
(Click photo to enlarge)

Gracanica Monastery
Gracanica Monastery

Other examples can be seen atop Saint Mark's Basilica, the Byzantine cathedral of Venice (photo on the left), and 2,000 kilometres away on the 14th century Gracanica Monastery in Kosovo (photo on the right), which didn't look so pretty after the US-led NATO 'humanitarian'1 bombing during the Easter of 1999.

Eagles - no problem. Thousands of cruise missiles and thousands of tons of explosives - not so robust. (The snowflake connection? World leaders give the same excuse as the snowflake does in an avalanche... "Not guilty!")

1 humanitarian bombing: a politically expedient euphemism