New Delhi: Skygazers in many parts of the world will be treated to yet another celestial event, a partial lunar eclipse, on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. The astronomical event, which is the last lunar eclipse of 2019, is visible from Australia, South America, Africa, most of Europe, and Asia. This means space enthusiasts in India can see the lunar eclipse (chandra grahan in Hindi), beginning around 12:15 a.m on July 17, 2019. What’s even exciting is that the eclipse is coinciding with Guru Purnima on the same day after 149 years. While an eclipse can be a real treat for space lovers, certain things have been linked to this natural phenomenon. For example, it is claimed that eclipses can have an impact on the human body and that pregnant women should not sleep, and stay indoors during an eclipse and so on. Many people also believe that eating or cooking food during eclipse can have harmful effects on health. However, none of these claims have been backed by science.
Perhaps, an eclipse is still considered a bad omen in many cultures across the world, including in India, and harmful for a pregnant woman. In fact, one of the most common myths relating to eclipses is that pregnant women should not sleep during an eclipse. Another superstition that’s so firmly engraved in our culture is that lunar eclipse can harm the unborn baby, causing a physical deformity in the baby.
Is it really bad for pregnant women to sleep during an eclipse?
Firstly, please be informed that there’s no scientific evidence suggesting that pregnant women should not sleep during a lunar or solar eclipse as it may cause harm to the unborn baby. Conversely, there’s absolutely no research behind the myth linking eclipses with insomnia. As stated above, these superstitions and beliefs have been a part of our lives since generations now.
Besides these, there are other dos and don’ts you might have been told to follow in the hours leading up to and during an eclipse. Here, we’ve listed some of the most commonly followed ones:
- Not using or coming in contact with a sharp object such as a knife, needle or scissors
- Not eating or drinking anything during the eclipse
- Covering the windows with thick curtains or newspaper so that no rays of the eclipse can enter your home
- Fasting during the eclipse
- Throwing away all cooked food from before the eclipse
- Taking a bath after the eclipse is over
It may be noted that an eclipse is a natural phenomenon – and that neither solar eclipse nor lunar eclipse has been proven to have any effect on your pregnancy. So, believing and following the superstitions related to eclipse (both solar and lunar) is completely your choice.
Meanwhile, a partial lunar eclipse takes place when only a part of the moon’s visible surface moves into the dark part of the earth’s shadow. As per NASA, it’s perfectly safe for you to look at a lunar eclipse with your naked eyes.