Solar Eclipse 2020: Myths And Rituals Abound When it Comes to Eclipses And Here Are Some

People believe that harmful entities emerge during an eclipse, and so rituals have to be followed strictly to evade them.

Published: June 18, 2020 10:04 PM IST

By Staff | Edited by Dianne Nongrum

Solar Eclipse 2020, Solar Eclipse, Annular Solar Eclipse, Surya Grahan, Myths around eclipses, Indian beliefs about eclipses
Picture for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@bucketwishtrip

June has been a very eventful month where all things celestial are concerned, and there is more to come. After a penumbral lunar eclipse earlier, now we earthlings are set to witness a solar eclipse on June 21. The solar eclipse will be annular in nature and skygazers are going to get the opportunity to observe the “ring of fire” during the phenomenon.

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In India, some parts of the country will view a full eclipse, while most of the other parts will only get a partial glimpse. But whatever the view, some myths or superstitions are bound to be brought up on the day the solar eclipse. These myths vary from country to country and are as old as when the phenomenon was witnessed. In India, an eclipse is considered to be inauspicious according to Hindu mythology, and the disappearance of the Sun, even for a short period of time is considered to be unhealthy.

As per what people believe, harmful entities emerge during an eclipse and so people have to follow strict instructions on what they can or cannot do during that time. The rituals they follow for protection and cleansing are as follows:

1. People are prohibited from touching or even worshipping idols of gods during the eclipse. Temple doors usually stay closed during an eclipse and open only after it ends, and then the idols are supposedly washed with Ganga water to purify them.

2. One can supposedly be protected from the evil effects of an eclipse by chanting hymns, singing devotional songs or meditating.

3. Food figures in every eclipse, and during a solar eclipse, instructions are that one should not cook anything at all. If there are leftovers, they should be finished before the eclipse or tulsi leaves should be placed on them and then covered properly.

4. This would be a hard one to follow, as it prohibits a person from sleeping, urinating, defecating, putting on makeup or having sexual intercourse during an eclipse.

5. Another thing that figures in both kinds of the eclipses are pregnant women. They are said to be at their weakest during an eclipse and hence easy targets for evil forces. They are prohibited from handling sharp objects, and in some parts of India, from even sitting with their legs crossed.

6. Last but not the least, once the eclipse is over, people are instructed to take a bath and change into clean clothes to get rid of whatever was there during the eclipse. It is believed that taking a dip in the Ganga river or just sprinkling the water on oneself will wash away all the evil.

Over the years, science and scientists have explained about the occurrence of natural phenomenons like solar and lunar eclipses in every way possible, but people choose to believe what they believe.

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Published Date: June 18, 2020 10:04 PM IST