Are you getting excited for the August 21 eclipse? Whether you're travelling to the best spot to see it, or you plan on putting on your solar glasses to watch it happen from you own backyard, this is certainly a natural event you don't want to miss!
Centuries ago, people didn't have a clear picture about how our solar system worked, so they would come up with explanations for these natural phenomenons.
Some of the stories really can get you thinking and how they viewed the eclipses work. A handful of these myths and legends still stick around to this day.
Since the beginning of time, the sun's daily patterns was something that people were always able to rely on, so on those rare instances when it gets interrupted, questions get raised about what is happening in the cosmos.
Stories that accumulated around the eclipse surround either what it means or an explanation about why it happens.
The question that plagues humanity whenever something out of the ordinary occurs, is why? We always seem to need an explanation for the explainable, even if the story is far fetched. A lot of these stories revolve around a creature trying to eat the sun.
Thieves and Devourers (China, Vietnam, North America and Many Others)
In ancient China, it was a celestial dragon, while the darkness was blamed by a hungry frog to the Vietnamese. The Viking attributed the eclipse to sky-wolves, while the Pomo in northern Californa said a bear would take a bit from the sun, followed by a bite from the moon, which is how they explain why a solar eclipse is followed shortly by a lunar eclipse. In Korea, it was believed that a pair of fire-dogs don't try to eat the sun, only steal it.
A Demon's Revenge (India)
Legend has it that the Hindu demon Rahu disgused himself as a god in order to steal a potion of immortality. The sun and the moon caught him during this heist and reported him to Vishnu. Rahu got a mouthful of the potion, but Vishnu cut off his head before it ever reached his throat. As a result, Rahu's body died, but his head will live forever. It's said that he sails the cosmos, occasionally eating the sun and moon as revenge for their betray.
"Every now and then he catches them and swallows them," explained Griffith Observatory director E.C. Krupp