Crazy Eclipse Beliefs Throughout History

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2017 Eclipse Taken By Konstantin

Throughout history, there have been some crazy beliefs surrounding an eclipse, whether be solar or lunar. Many beliefs have the sun and moon represent animals, while other traditions represent these eclipses as fighting between the two celestial bodies.

Of course this isn’t the case, but there are some who make these beliefs of the sun and moon being animals or fighting look tame.

Some cultures have superstitions surrounding solar eclipse and children. Whether it be that pregnant women and their unborn children are at risk or that young children should stay indoors, the risk is unfounded. This supserstition is popular in India where a solar or lunar eclipse is considered a bad omen and harmful for a pregnant woman. The eclipse is believed to affect the developing baby by causing a physical deformity, cleft lip or birthmarks.[1] 

In some parts of the US, those who are religious actually think such an event is the sign of the forthcoming of an apocalypse. This can be found in the Bible in Joel 2:31: “The Sun will turn to darkness, and the Moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”

There is a Mexican superstition that if a pregnant woman viewed an eclipse, a bite would be taken out of her unborn child’s face.

In many parts of India, people fast during a solar eclipse due to the belief that any food cooked while an event occurs will be poisonous and unpure. There is another Indian superstition that says if you cut yourself, you bleed for a longer time and it can leave a scar for a lifetime. We suggest that you don’t cut yourself at all, and if you accidentally cut yourself, to ensure appropriate medical attention is received for the wound, regardless of when it happened or where you are.

In Tibet, people think that good and bad deeds are multiplied during an eclipse.

Aztec people thought that without a human sacrifice, an eclipse with an earthquake would signify the end of the world.

The ancient Greeks thought an eclipse meant that the gods would rain down punishment on the king. The story goes that to save the king from their wrath, a substitute king would be placed instead of the real one. Once the eclipse was over, the substitute king would be executed.

Not all superstitions surrounding solar eclipses are about doom. In Italy, for example, it is believed that flowers planted during a solar eclipse are brighter and more colorful than flowers planted any other time of the year.

To be clear, none of these actually have merit in science and are just interesting topics to discuss.

Let us know what your favorites are and what we might have missed! Make sure to check back in with CosmosPNW going forward for more great content like this!


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