Solar eclipses have caused fright, stimulated curiosity and have been linked to legends, myths and superstitions for years and years. There are various reasons why cultures have responded to eclipses with fear; many people thought that the celestial bodies were in fury. And, even today, a solar eclipse is considered as bad omen in different parts of the world.
In Vietnam, people used to believe that the sun was being eaten by a giant frog, each time there was an eclipse. Similarly, in Norse culture, the people believed that the sun was being devoured, but by wolves.
In Ancient China, the word used to describe an eclipse was ‘chih’ or ‘shih’, which also means “to eat”. It was thought that a celestial dragon was lunching on the sun.
Meanwhile, in Korean folklore, the ancient people explained that solar eclipses were caused by dogs chasing the sun and the moon.
In the Hindu mythology, one of the Gods was beheaded for drinking the Gods’ nectar. It is still believed that his cut head flew to the sun and swallowed it, causing the eclipse. Even today, in some parts of India, the people fast when there is an eclipse. They believe that food will turn into poison on that day.
In many other cultures, the inhabitants stayed together and made loud noises by banging pots to ‘scare the demons’ during eclipses.
The Greeks were quite afraid when there was a solar eclipse as for them, it meant that the gods were angry and would cause destructions.
There is a tribe, Batammaliba, who lives in Benin and Togo. This tribe resolves all their conflicts whenever there is an eclipse. According to their ancient legends, when there is an eclipse, it means that the sun and moon are fighting. Thus, they resolve their own fights to pacify the gods and to stop the hurting.
Italian culture is the only one that brings a positive meaning to Solar Eclipse. It is believed that planting fruits or flowers during an eclipse makes it even more beautiful when it blooms.
Nowadays, some people believe that solar eclipse is an opportunity to discharge any negative feelings and convert them into positive energies. Keep watching, as the next total solar eclipse is on the 2nd of July 2019 and visible from central Argentina and Chile. Other countries in the southern part of America as well as Central America will also have a glimpse of the eclipse.