Did you all go outside the other day with your glasses and try and catch a glimpse of one very cool astral happening? Tell the truth — how many of you tried to catch a peek at what was going on without your protective glasses?
It was pretty cloudy here in the Midwest United States. We were scheduled to see the moon/sun thing about 1:10 pm. I must admit I did sneak outside (at the end of my lunch time) only to be greeted with bumpy clouds. Alas…about 15 minutes later there was this little uproar throughout the office — the clouds had parted! It was happening!
So I, along with a dozen of my co-workers, went outside (after our scheduled lunch time) and gazed at the phenomenon through eye-protecting glasses (although I have to raise my hand…I did for a NANOSECOND peek at the sun without said glasses…just to see…)
So I figured I would share some old-world explanations for what today’s scientists so flippantly explain with exact detail.
According to TimeandDate.com:
In Vietnam, people believed that a solar eclipse was caused by a giant frog devouring the Sun.
Norse cultures blamed wolves for eating the Sun.
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, chih or shih, means to eat.
According to ancient Hindu mythology, the deity Rahu is beheaded by the gods for capturing and drinking Amrita, the gods’ nectar. Rahu’s head flies off into the sky and swallows the Sun causing an eclipse.
Korean folklore offers another ancient explanation for solar eclipses. It suggests that solar eclipses happen because mythical dogs are trying to steal the Sun.
The Pomo, an indigenous group of people who lived in the northwestern United States, tell of a story of a bear who started a fight with the Sun and took a bite out of it. In fact, the Pomo name for a solar eclipse is Sun got bit by a bear.
The ancient Greeks believed that a solar eclipse was a sign of angry gods and that it was the beginning of disasters and destruction.
According to Inuit folklore, the Sun goddess Malina walked away after a fight with the Moon god Anningan. A solar eclipse happened when Anningan managed to catch up with his sister.
I don’t know about you, but I’m rather amazed at the explanations the ancients had. After all — what did the poor sun do to get bit by so many animals?