On June 15, we will see the century’s longest and darkest lunar eclipse. On this occasion, dnaindia.com gives you all that you need to know about the phenomenon. Here, Blessy Chettiar lists some of the weirdest superstitions associated with an eclipse.
A beginner’s guide to the lunar eclipse
Special: How to view the lunar eclipse in India
An event like an eclipse is healthy fodder for the superstitious Indian who has for time memorial associated infrequent natural phenomena with something bad if not evil.
Here are some superstitions that Mumbaikars have heard of, most of them associated with pregnancy.
“My sister-in-law is expecting twins. All family members have advised her to stay indoors all day, and preferably sleep off the eclipse lest it ‘harms’ the babies.”
— Swati Rohatgi, media professional
“A very common superstition is that pregnant women should not touch or handle sharp objects like knives, needles etc fearing that an eclipse will cause a cleft lip for the unborn child.”
— Liz Pius, homemaker
“Some of my Hindu friends eat and drink much before the eclipse starts. After this they dispose the remaining food and upturn the vessels fearing contamination. Some people don’t do any kind of work and just sleep it off. I believe that pregnant women shouldn’t look at the moon during an eclipse as it affects the baby.”
— Sandra Borges, housewife
“I read that that in some cultures it is believed that pregnant women should wear red in order to keep in check or rather reduce the influence the moon could have on the health of an unborn child.”
— Priyanka Shah, student
Some other weird superstitions associated with the lunar eclipse include:
— Washing eyes with the first urine of the day prevents sore eyes permanently
— You should have a bath before and after the eclipse
— Banana leaves can cause tooth decay in children on a lunar eclipse day
— Sleeping with wet hair could make you a ‘lunatic’