Across the centuries,
the sun's eclipse has been considered as an evil or a bad omen. The
early cultures saw the sun as a life-giver in its unfailing everyday
appearance. So, something that could actually undo the sun was naturally
reckoned as a terribly bad event filled with foreboding.
Despite the awareness of the true nature of this natural phenomena in
contemporary living, many people continue to beat drums, gongs, pots
and pans or fire guns into the air or simply hide indoors. The event
has been associated with calamities ranging from wars, floods and famines
to political upheavals and personal misfortunes.
In India, during the time of the eclipse, food is neither eaten nor
cooked. Many believe that when the rays of the sun don't touch the earth,
the number of germs increase. All food cooked before the eclipse is,
therefore, thrown away.
In India, people immerse themselves in water up to the neck in an act
of cleansing. They believe that a simultaneous act of worship would
help the sun fight the beast of the demon called the Rahu, that is believed
to devour the sun. .
Pregnant women refrain from cutting and sewing during the eclipse.Since
they believed the child to be born will posses some deformity.
In Thailand, lucky objects are bought to ward off evil omens during
the eclipse. Since black is the colour of Rahu (the demon of darkness),
devotees in Thailand buy up black chicken, black liquor, black beans,
black eggs, black rice and black moss sticks.
In Tahiti eclipses have had a romantic connotation. They have been interpreted
as the lovemaking of the Sun and the Moon. So, people in Tahiti find
the event to be something to look forward to, since the eclipse seems
to be the harbinger of a divine blessing.