Web Exclusive: How Global Cultures Interpret the Eclipse

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8 Apr 2024 2:40 AM

Eclipses have been around since the beginning of time, and so have the legends that go along with them. We are bringing you some of the stories and cultural significance of total solar eclipses around the world in this WeatherNation web exclusive.

In Ancient China, eclipses were believed to be a dragon trying to eat the sun, and people needed to make as much noise as possible to scare it off. The Chinese would bang pots and pans to try and scare the dragon away.

For West African tribes, the Batammaliba people in Togo and Benin, the cosmic event is the result of the sun and moon fighting and trying to resolve their differences. They believed it meant that communities on Earth should come together and resolve their conflicts too. 

Indigenous tribes across North America have their eclipse traditions as well. The Choctaw have similar stories to the Chinese, but instead of a dragon trying to eat the sun, it was a squirrel. The Navajo people see eclipses as the death of a father figure and stop all activity to take time for reverence.  Some First Nations in Canada explain eclipses as the sun being a bit clumsy and dropping its torch.  

For more information about the eclipse on April 8th, join WeatherNation and check out these other articles:

5 Things You Need to Know About the Eclipse

How Rare are Total Solar Eclipses

5 Cool Things You Can See During the Eclipse

How to Contribute to Science During the Eclipse

Eclipse Safety

Hearing the Eclipse

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