How do you usually watch the solar eclipse? Normally, people will do it with goggles, a pinhole projector, or other modern ways to see an eclipse. But how people from the old days do it? How do they see the eclipse’s amazing show?
Actually, ancient tribes and societies have a different perspective about the event. But they all agree that a solar eclipse is not something they should be happy about as it’s more like a frightening event for them. And they will have many strange rituals to do when it happens. Let’s take a look at it deeper.
Pregnant Women: Stay Home!
A custom in India believes that eclipses can do harm to pregnancies. They believe that eclipse’s rays could damage the babies’ physical appearances and cause other deformities to the children. To prevent the unpleasant things from happening, elders suggest that pregnant women should stay at home and keep the door closed. But the modern science reveals that eclipse’s rays can only damage our eyes – and only if they’re directly exposed to the eclipse for too long.
Arrowhead and Red Strings
Mayans and Aztecs share a similar belief to Indian custom. They believe that eclipse can affect their child physically – in their tradition, a birthmark. So to prevent that from happening, they wear an arrowhead and a red string when the eclipse takes place. The ritual is still done in some areas in South America. But these days, they wear red pants instead of arrowhead and read string when they do the ritual –much more modern.
Shot the Eclipse Away
The next unique ritual comes from the land of the dragons, China. Many years ago, ancient Chinese people shot arrows towards the eclipse to wipe off the moon’s shadow from the sun. There is even a tale that lived with the ritual. According to it, when the eclipse happens, a celestial dragon tries to eat the whole sun and send the earth into an eternal blackout. What a bad, bad, dragon. That’s why they do the ritual – to keep the sun shining the earth forever.
Chants and rituals
Based on Hindu mythology, the deity Rahu trying to swallow the sun causes the eclipse. The Hindus then perform a series of activities to prevent it from happening. Firstly, they will do a thorough cleaning to their house. They also put all cooked food to the trash as they believe it makes the house impure. After that, they will sit together in one place and perform some chants in a purified state until the eclipse is over. But the ritual doesn’t end here, guys. They still have to take a bath and make donations to those in need.
Bang, Bang, the Pan!
This ritual comes from the Middle East region. A group of society there believes that there is an angry man in the moon that will attack the sun when the eclipse happens. In order to save the sun, people will try to make noises by banging the kitchen utensils such as pans, fryers, spatulas, and pots, to frighten the angry man and make him run away. Old generations believe that the ritual is actually working – because the solar eclipse eventually disappear and the sun comes back to shine normally.
Those rituals are pretty unique, right? Have you ever done one of those rituals? Or do you have some sort of special activity you usually do when the eclipse happens? Tell us the details by leaving a comment below. We’re excited to hear your stories, guys.