The lunar eclipse has fascinated cultures across the globe and inspired several striking myths and legends.
During the eclipse, moon shimmers in crimson red color and glows like a fire ball.
And undoubtedly, the event seems to be other-worldly even if you don’t witness it first hand. But the question is, what was so special about blood moon? The answer- Everything!
The mega-divine event that took place on 27th July was literally something that happens in ages. Precisely, the last time this happened was on March 31, 1866. (Now that’s what I call ages, like seriously.)
Since medieval times, blood moon has been a popular event. There are thousands of folklore that revolve around blood moon and don’t consider this as just another astronomical event.
But back in those days, no one had stepped on the moon apart from god himself. And thus, we now have scientific explanations to why certain rituals doesn’t make sense and how they were an outcome of fear and lack of knowledge.
Afterall, what you see is what you believe. And, no matter how apocalyptic it looks, blood moon definitely isn’t dangerous.
So, relax and just so you gain a little more insight into this very rare and very cool lunar event, here are the myths and beliefs of ancient times along with the actual truth behind this rare event.
1. Deep red color is an indication of Jaguar attacking the moon.
They thought that the Jaguar would turn its attention to earth. And thus to avoid that, people used to shout, shake their spears and make their dogs bark to drive the Jaguar away.
In reality, that’s not the case. There is no jaguar attacking the moon.
The thing is during the eclipse, as the sun rays pass through the atmosphere, some colors in the light spectrum are filtered out. When the rays finally reach the surface of the moon, the red color rays are the ones which are least affected. This ultimately causes the moon to take on a full on red color hue.
2. A lunar eclipse was considered a direct assault on the king
The people used to get so paranoid because of this event that as a precaution, they would put in place a proxy king for the duration of moon eclipse. Once the eclipse passed, the original King was placed back on the throne.
Actually, this is just a celestial phenomenon which occurs when the full moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. The shadow blocks the light of the sun which supposedly reflects on the moon. And definitely, has nothing to do with the attack on any King whatsoever.
3. A lunar eclipse bears ill fortune
According to Hindu Mythology, a lunar eclipse is the result of the demon Rahu taking revenge from the moon. After drinking the elixir of immortality, Rahu became immortal which is why when Sun and Moon killed him during the fight, Rahu didn’t die.
Demon Rahu swallows the moon as revenge which reappears out of his severed neck when the eclipse ends.
But what actually happens is,
The Sun, the Earth, and the moon are precisely aligned, with the Earth situated in the middle. This creates the illusion that an imaginary demon has in fact swallowed moon. As the alignment ends, the moon reappears. No demon responsible here, people!
4. The moon becomes wounded or ill during the lunar eclipse
According to them, after the eclipse, the moon needs healing, either by the moon’s wives or by tribesmen. So the tribal people sing and chant for the moon to get well.
A very sweet gesture indeed. But as a matter of fact, this ritual has no correlation with science at all. The duration of a lunar eclipse varies depending on the earth’s shadow. So the singing and chanting don’t affect this phenomenon at all. Like not even a bit.
5. Lunar eclipse is a conflict between sun and moon
Traditionally, the people view a lunar eclipse as a conflict between sun and moon. They believe that its a conflict that the people must encourage to resolve. They use the eclipse as a time for old feuds to be laid to rest, a practice which is performed until this day.
This myth is somewhat true. Why so? Well, actually if you think of it in this way that the planets don’t have a conflict but actually at times the planes on which they move coincide. The course of time when the earth passes in between the moon and the sun and cuts off the sunlight causes an eclipse.
6. Allah is not happy with the people living on earth
In Islamic, It is called as ‘Salat-al-khusuf,’ which is basically a “prayer on a lunar eclipse”. This is done to ask Allah’s forgiveness and at the same time poses as a ritual that reaffirms the divine greatness of the superpower that dwells in heaven.
In medieval times, people weren’t aware of the scientific reason behind these phenomena. So, naturally, when the whitish blue Moon changed its color during an eclipse, people used to get terrified. And in order to bring the Moon back to its usual color, they used to pray and chant.
The real reason, however, is very simple. It’s just that there are planets and moons all over the solar system. But out of all, only earth is lucky enough to experience lunar eclipses because its shadow is just large enough to cover the moon completely.
7. It portrays ‘Blood moon’ as the sign that ‘ End is near’
They refer to the color of the Blood moon as a depiction of apocalypse and end of the world as we know it.
End of earth or not, that’s a different story altogether.
But regarding the apocalypse, the moon is to be left out of it. The color of the moon looks reddish also because of the particles in the atmosphere. And that my friends, isn’t going to destroy the earth in any way.
Now that we know the real science behind this magical occurrence, it is up to our choice whether to still believe or discard these myths. After all, life is all about choices. But hey, if you missed this Super Blue Blood Moon, make a note in your diary for the year 2037.
Because this is the next time when this event is likely to occur. And 19 years isn’t so long after all…
Or you could continue to believe in those myths to not take a sight of it, as it will bring bad luck.