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East is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from .


Etymology
The word east comes from est, from ēast, which itself comes from the Proto-Germanic * aus-to- or * austra- "east, toward the sunrise", from Proto-Indo-European *aus- "to shine," or "dawn". This is similar to Old High German *ōstar "to the east", aurora "dawn", and ēōs ἠώς. Ēostre, a Germanic goddess of dawn, might have been a personification of both dawn and the cardinal points.


Navigation
By convention, the right hand side of a is east. This convention has developed from the use of a compass, which places north at the top. However, on maps of planets such as Venus which rotate retrograde, the left hand side is east.

To go east using a compass for , one sets a bearing or of 90°.


Cultural
East is the direction toward which the rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the appears to rise. The practice of praying towards the East is older than , but has been adopted by this religion as the Orient was thought of as containing mankind's original home. Hence, some Christian churches have been traditionally oriented towards the east.

The Orient is the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the , in relation to . In , it is largely a for, and coterminous with, the of , divided into the , , and . Despite this Eurocentric origin, these regions are still located to the east of the Geographical centre of Earth.

Within an individual city, the east end is typically poorer due to prevailing winds blowing pollution to the east.


See also


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