The longest lunar eclipse since July 2000 will be visible tomorrow from Asia and Africa, but not the States. Boo! We'll miss seeing the moon turn a reddish-orange color for 1 hour and 40 minutes when the Earth's shadow blocks the sunlight that usually illuminates the moon, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't pay attention. Lunar eclipses are the stuff folklore is made of, party people. The superstitious alarm alone is reason to celebrate or, on the other hand, take cover ... and avoid cutting vegetables.
Yup! Cutting veggies can be super risky during a lunar eclipse. And if you're pregnant ... sorry, bad news. Pre-born babies no likey lunar eclipsies. And don't even think about sewing anything during the eclipse or going outside. Scary stuff! This lunation is intense.
Sure these are old wives' tales, and I have no idea why slicing a cucumber could be dangerous, but it's an interesting concept. For millennia we've had to explain scientific events with preternatural answers.
The Ancient Chinese civilizations believed the moon was battling a dragon during the eclipse ... to this day there is a tradition of making as much noise as possible during the event to help scare off the dragon from totally devouring the moon. Banging pots, shooting guns in the air, and playing instruments are popular methods of warring off the great dragon.
In Japanese and some Arctic cultures, a lunar eclipse is said to contaminate Earth. Wells are covered and utensils turned over to avoid any poisonous residue. In Ancient Greece, as it likely was in every other ancient society, an eclipse was a terrifying omen. I mean, if the moon or the sun disappeared on me, I'd be pretty freaked.
Even though this lunar eclipse won't be visible from our nation, there's clearly still plenty to be superstitious about. Especially you preggos out there. If you can get yourself to Stonehenge for a little pagan worship, might be a good idea. Otherwise, unhand those knives and stop trying to chop a salad already.
Instead, order in, put on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, or turn up Heart's "Total Eclispe of the Heart" and rock out inside tomorrow night. Inside, I say. Inside.
What lunar eclipse superstitions have you heard?
Photo via SqueakyMarmot/Flickr