2

Evidence for presence of myth -

  1. https://www.lifecell.in/mom-and-baby/pregnancy/care/eclipse-harmful-pregnant-women-myth-or-truth

In India, eclipse is linked to many dos and don’ts for everybody as it is believed to be a bad omen. Pregnant women are advised not to come outside, eat or cook during a solar and lunar eclipse because people believe that it may have side effects on the growing baby

  1. http://amp.usatoday.com/story/579196001/

Aztecs believed a lunar eclipse was a result of a bite being taken out of the moon. This idea translated into the Mexican superstition that if a pregnant woman viewed an eclipse, a bite would be taken out of her unborn child's face. Hindu text credits the eclipse to the head of the demon Rahu, who ate the moon or sun.

  1. https://www.babycenter.in/x1011503/is-an-eclipse-harmful-during-pregnancy

There are some superstitions that an eclipse can cause deformities such as a cleft lipor unsightly birthmarks

Questions - Which was the first known civilization in which this myth was present?

What were the reasons behind this myth i.e. (why did they think so)?

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    The quoted passages seem to suggest that there are at least two different myths and possibly other unrelated supersititions. Is there one in particular of interest? – Steve Bird Aug 23 '17 at 4:53
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    @SteveBird can we club them under a single myth as "eclipse badly affects foetus". the specifics of the damage may differ depending on civilization/time period. – user13107 Aug 23 '17 at 5:28
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Cursory googling suggests the superstitions date back to Hindu beliefs and Aztec times, so tracing the superstitions' exact origins and their precise explanations may prove very hard or impossible.

That said, their explanations probably are related to this:

"If you do a worldwide survey of eclipse lore, the theme that constantly appears, with few exceptions, is it's always a disruption of the established order," said E. C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. That's true of both solar and lunar eclipses.

  • 1
    thanks, i got an answer from an old question on Hinduism.SE (hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/20393/290) Would be interesting if people here could expand upon that. – user13107 Aug 23 '17 at 6:57
  • @user13107 the old question seems to suggest that the myth is that a risk occurs if there's an eclipse at the time of conception rather than generally during pregnancy. – Steve Bird Aug 23 '17 at 8:59
  • @SteveBird correct! answerer is saying that that particular logic might have been extrapolated to entire duration of pregnancy. It would be helpful if something definitive can be said further. – user13107 Aug 23 '17 at 9:04

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