They fell in love, married and had children. But when the goddess found out about them, she banished them both to different sides of the Milky Way.
However, once a year, magpies will help out and form a bridge between the two lovers. Who in the Western world would have thought that magpies can be so kind? In China, they are even a symbol for love and happiness. This legend has a happier ending.
The story is set in the beautiful city of Hangzhou, famous for its lake. A white snake lived in the lake. She had gained magical powers and could turn herself into a human.
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She falls in love with the scholar Xu Xuan and after overcoming many obstacles they finally convince the gods to bless their union. He clearly is a hero in Chinese mythology: the most powerful and divine creature, controller of the water. Dragons were the symbol of the emperor, bringing luck and good fortune. It is said that the legendary Yellow Emperor turned into a dragon and flew to heaven when he died. You might have seen them in front of houses, palaces or temples and they have been placed there because people believe in their protective powers. Often they come as a pair, the male holding a ball that represents the world under his paw, the female protecting a lion cub.
According to Chinese mythology, the big bang happened when the god Pangu cracked the egg that he was sleeping in. This egg contained Yin and Yang, which then separated. The lighter Yang rose to create the sky, Yin formed earth and Pangu made sure both were held in place with his hands and feet.
There is a story to explain why Chinese new year is celebrated with lots of noise. Once there was an ugly, scary monster called Nian who regularly came down from the mountains to hunt people. The villagers were so afraid of it that they locked themselves in their houses on the days it was coming. One wise old man in the village suggested it would be better if they stuck together and chased the monster away. So they did, with the noise of drums and fireworks. The monster was so surprised and afraid that it ran around until it was completely exhausted and the villagers were able to kill it.
This is how the first Chinese New Year celebration started.see url
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Traditionally, people in many cultures get together to bang pots and pans and make loud noises during a solar eclipse. It is thought that making a noise scares the demon causing the eclipse away. The Pomo, an indigenous group of people who live in the northwestern United States , tell a story of a bear who started a fight with the Sun and took a bite out of it.
In fact, the Pomo name for a solar eclipse is Sun got bit by a bear. After taking a bite of the Sun and resolving their conflict, the bear, as the story goes, went on to meet the Moon and take a bite out of the Moon as well, causing a lunar eclipse. This story may have been their way of explaining why a solar eclipse happens about around 2 weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.
The ancient Greeks believed that a solar eclipse was a sign of angry gods and that it was the beginning of disasters and destruction. How superstition influenced the course of history. The Tewa tribe from New Mexico in the United States believed that a solar eclipse signaled an angry Sun who had left the skies to go to his house in the underworld.
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According to Inuit folklore, the Sun goddess Malina walked away after a fight with the Moon god Anningan. A solar eclipse happened when Anningan managed to catch up with his sister.
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The Batammaliba, who live in Benin and Togo , used a solar eclipse as a teaching moment. According to their legends, an eclipse of the Sun meant that the Sun and the Moon were fighting and that the only way to stop them from hurting each other was for people on Earth to resolve all conflicts with each other. Fear of solar eclipses still exists today. Many people around the world still see eclipses as evil omens that bring death, destruction, and disasters.
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A popular misconception is that solar eclipses can be a danger to pregnant women and their unborn children. In many cultures, young children and pregnant women are asked to stay indoors during a solar eclipse. In many parts of India , people fast during a solar eclipse due to the belief that any food cooked while an eclipse happens will be poisonous and unpure. Not all superstitions surrounding solar eclipses are about doom. In Italy , for example, it is believed that flowers planted during a solar eclipse are brighter and more colorful than flowers planted any other time of the year.
Scientists and astronomers around the world have debunked any such claims. There is no scientific evidence that solar eclipses can affect human behavior, health, or the environment. Scientists, however, do emphasize that anyone watching a solar eclipse must protect their eyes.