Eclipse Myths

There was this amazing solar eclipse about a month back in January 2010. And people suggested I don’t eat food during that time. Some say, that one shouldn’t go out. Am not really sure how true these are. Could get this article online, which looked genuine to me. I simply paste the article without tampering

A solar or a lunar eclipse is a scientific phenomenon. It is quite like you walking in front of a light source and blocking a part of it from reaching the other side. During a solar eclipse the moon comes between the earth and the sun and blocks the part of the sun’s rays from reaching the earth. During a lunar eclipse the earth comes between the moon and the sun. The earth also casts its shadow on the moon. This shadow is very similar to a shadow of a tree on the ground or a shadow of a tall building that falls on your home or garden.

However in many cultures around the world, superstitions and myths surround eclipses as they are considered a bad omen or divine discontent.

My mother has forbidden me from stepping out during the eclipse. Is it safe to step out?

In the olden days, people were probably restricted from going out during an eclipse to avoid directly looking at the sun and causing damage to their eyes. This tradition has persisted till date.

There is no evidence at all of eclipses causing fetal deformities or harming your baby in any way. Eclipses can be seen from many parts of the world and in many countries there is no tradition of avoiding going out during an eclipse. Here, there is a widespread belief that pregnant women should not go out during an eclipse, which means that often parents and elders may be very worried about your safety. Many women choose not to go out in order to avoid causing distress to their families. It is a matter of personal choice if you want to stay indoors or go out. However, if you are out, take proper precautions to protect your eyes if you plan to watch the eclipse.

Why should I not look at the sun directly during an eclipse?

Normally the sun is so bright that you cannot look directly at the sun. However, during an eclipse, you can look at the sun without much discomfort to the eyes at the time. This can damage your eyes without you even realizing it. That is why, you are advised to watch an eclipse with proper eye protection.

Is it important to throw away all cooked food and take a bath after an eclipse?

Sometimes traditions and beliefs outlive their times with no scientific explanation. Throwing away all cooked food is wastage of food. Similarly taking a bath after an eclipse is also a belief and is being followed more as a superstition.

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