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Eclipse 2017: Legend says a giant frog is heading toward the sun posted on 07/31/2017

Be thankful you live in modern times. The solar eclipse carried ominous overtones in ancient cultures – omens of death and destruction.

Chinese legend has it that failing to predict a solar eclipse put the emperor in danger. Thus, in 2134 BC, astrologers Hsi and Ho were put to death for such oversight.

In Vietnam, it was once true that a solar eclipse was due to a giant frog devouring the sun.

The Norse accused wolves of eating the sun.

In China, a dragon dined on the sun.

Hindu mythology has it that Rahu was beheaded by the gods for drinking the gods’ nectar. His head flew off and eclipsed the sun.

Koreans believed dogs stole the sun.

The Pomo Indians of the Pacific Northwest believed a bear got in a fight with the sun and took a bite out of it. The Pomo name for a solar eclipse is “Sun got bit by a bear.”

In some parts of the world, eclipses are still seen as evil omens. Some cultures have pregnant women and young children to stay indoors, believing them to be in danger during a solar eclipse. In India, today, some people fast during an eclipse as they believe food cooked at that time will be poisonous.

But then the Italians come to the solar eclipse rescue. They believe that flowers planted during an eclipse grow brighter and more colorful than those planted at any other time.

Fortunately for those who lived in fear during ancient times, most calendar years have but two solar eclipses. The most that can occur in the same year is five. According to NASA, only about 25 years in the past 5,000 have had five solar eclipses. The last time was in 1935. The next time will be in 2206.

Babylonians and Chinese were able to predict solar eclipses as early as 2500 BC. Thus, the very fact that we know one is on the way to the Mountain community is no great feat.

And just to be completely safe, if you live anywhere near water, keep an eye on the frogs.

By Larry Berteau/MT

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