Thursday, 23 July 2009

Solar eclipse... hiding the sun... but why are we hiding too?

Source from:

The "eclipse of the 21st century" occurred today, sadly Malaysia is expected to experience just a partial solar eclipse from 8am to 10am today.

Ever since watching the "Heroes" series, it's more intriguing to see an eclipse but somehow, when MIL (aka mum in law) got a late night phone call from her best friend telling about the expected eclipse in the morning of 22/07, we were told by MIL to best not look up/out etc. I've been told to close the curtain and make sure not to bring Ben outside between 9-10am (not that I'll be doing that anyway cos Ben normally wakes up at 9-ish...) That aside, I'm thinking, err..why are we hiding ourselves from the eclipse?

So again, I googled and found the following:

  • The Chinese believed that a dragon was eating the Moon, and they would shoot cannons at it in hopes of scaring it away. In fact the Chinese navy was known to have shot cannons at the Moon as late as the 19th century.
  • The people of India still hide inside during the eclipses, as they believe that the eclipse of the Moon allows bad rays to strike the Earth. They will hide inside, and close all the windows and doors in hopes that they will not be infected by these bad rays. They also will bang pots, and make other loud noises to scare away the evil forces taking over the Moon.
  • The Babylonians believed that the Moon being hidden was a harbinger of doom for some place in the world. They studied what quadrant of the Moon seemed to be eclipsed the most. They believed that they would see the most damage from the Gods and people in that part of the world should be careful. Soothsayers would offer predictions based on the readings of the Moon, and use them to determine what course of action should be taken.
Hmmm.... superstitions strikes again!! I guess I'll just make do with looking at images of the eclipse from the Net then...

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