March 8, 2016: Solar eclipse has always caused fear, inspired curiosity and has been associated with various myths, legends and superstition throughout the history of the world. With the eclipse occurring today and various parts of the world preparing for it in its own way, weâ€™ve put together some myths and trivial facts about the eclipse.
Even today, many cultures in the world consider the eclipse on the sun to be a bad omen. Ancient cultures had different judgments on why sun vanishes from the sky for a certain period of time. Different civilizations came up with different reasons. Itâ€™s interesting on how various part of the world views solar eclipse.
In Vietnam, people believed that a giant frog was devouring the Sun, while Viking cultures blamed wolves for eating the Sun and causing a solar eclipse. While in ancient China, a celestial dragon was thought to lunch on the Sun, causing a solar eclipse. In fact, the Chinese word of an eclipse,Â chihÂ orÂ shihÂ meansÂ to eat.
Closer to home, according to ancient Hindu mythology, the deityÂ Rahu, is executed by the gods for capturing and drinking ambrosia. Rahu’s head flies off in the sky and swallows the Sun causing an eclipse. In order to get rid of the demon, people in many cultures got together to bang pots and pans and made loud noises during a solar eclipse. It was thought that making a noise would scare the demon away.
The ancient Greeks believed that a solar eclipse was a sign of angry gods and that it was the beginning of disasters and destruction. Korean folklore suggests that solar eclipses happen because mythical dogs are trying to steal the Sun.
Many people around the world still view eclipse as evil omen that brings death, destruction and disaster. The fear and misconception still exists. In many parts of Nepal and India, pregnant women are not allowed to move out of the house, considering the possible dangers that the unborn child may face. People even observe fast during solar eclipse as the food cooked during eclipse is considered to be impure.
Not all the superstitions surrounding solar eclipse are negative. In Italy, people believe that the flowers planted during eclipse bloom better and colorful that flowers planted on any other time of the y
There is in fact no scientific basis to any claims that are mentioned above. The science has no evidence which proves solar eclipse may affect human behavior, health or environment. However, scientists focus on the point that watching solar eclipse with naked eyes maybe harmful because of dangerous ultra- violet rays. Scientifically solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon which occur when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, thus totally or partially obscuring the image of the sun for a viewer on Earth.
The eclipse will begin at 23:19 UTC on March 8, 2016, and its maximum point will take place at 01:59 UTC on March 9, 2016. It will last for 4 minutes and 9 seconds. According to NASA, the moon will black out the sun over Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra, before moving across Sulawesi and Borneo, and then over to the Maluku Islands. NASA is streaming it live on its website.