Different Myths Surrounding Solar Eclipse
Myths are part of human behavior, and people continue to carry forward myths as the planet ages.
Solar Eclipse is one of the most famous events which carries along myths and superstitions since centuries. Here are some myths about solar eclipse in different cultures and societies.
The ancient Greeks believed that a solar eclipse was an indication of Angry Gods and that it was the start of devastation or trouble.
Sun got bit by a bear:
The Pomo, an indigenous group of individuals who live in the northwestern United States, tell a story of a bear who stirred up some dust with the Sun and whittled it down. They say that the ‘Sun got bit by a bear’. In the wake of taking a nibble of the Sun, the bear, supposedly, proceeded to meet the Moon and whittle down the Moon too, causing a lunar eclipse. This story may have been their method for clarifying why a solar eclipse occurs around about fourteen days prior or after a lunar eclipse.
Beheaded flying head:
Hinduism perceives solar eclipse as something related to a cunning demon named Rahu who is sought to drink the nectar of the Gods and thus attain immortality. Masked as a lady, Rahu attempted to go to a dinner of the Gods and was found by Vishnu. As punishment, the evil presence was speedily beheaded, and it is his beheaded head flying over the sky that darkens the Sun during an eclipse.
Not a good time:
Muslims believe that solar eclipse does not come with happiness. During a solar eclipse, there is a recommended prayer called the Prayer of the Eclipse (Salat al-Khusuf) that is performed by Muslim communities at the time of the eclipse. Muslims believe that the tradition of praying during eclipse is a reminder that Allah (God) alone has power over all things in the heavens and on earth. Muslims also believe that it will be a Solar Eclipse on the Doomsday.
Brighter flowers if planted on this day:
In Italy solar eclipse is seen as a good thing. They say that flowers planted during a solar eclipse are brighter and more colorful than flowers planted any other time of the year.
Lets end all fights and love:
The Batammaliba people in Togo and Benin (Africa) see each eclipse as an opportunity to end old feuds. The myth is that an eclipse is caused by fighting between the sun and the moon. When an eclipse occurs, the Batammaliba come together as a community and try to end their own fighting as a way of encouraging the sun and moon to do the same.
Food cooked during eclipse is poisonous, hence fast:
In many parts of India eclipse seems to have a venomous affect on the food. People prefer fasting on the eclipse day saying that all food cooked during the eclipse is poisonous and impure.
Frog ate the sun:
In Vietnam, people believed that a solar eclipse was caused by a giant frog devouring the Sun, while some blamed wolves for eating the Sun.
Mythical dogs stealing sun:
Korean ancient explanation says that solar eclipses happen because mythical dogs are trying to steal the Sun. They further go on to say that the sun resists it every time.
Pregnant women and young children stay indoors:
The modern day Superstitions includes a popular misconception that solar eclipses can be a danger to pregnant women and their unborn children. In many cultures, young children and pregnant women are asked to stay indoors during a solar eclipse.
In ancient China, a celestial dragon was thought to lunch on the Sun, causing a solar eclipse.