Total Lunar Eclipse: a Thailand view
People around the world looked skyward last night to view the spectacular sight of a total lunar eclipse.
While varying portions of the event were visible across much of the globe, Thailand was one of best places in the world to catch what was the last full eclipse until 2014.
The night sky was absolutely clear for the full three hours duration of the eclipse.
The moon turned red just before 8.30 in Bangkok, with the stunning display lasting around three hours.
The colour change is caused by a scattering of sunlight as it passed through the thin ring of the earth’s atmosphere, removing the blue light and passing mainly the red, some of which illuminated the moon.
According to many Buddhists in Thailand, Rahu the God of Darkness, is said to swallow from time to time his two brothers, the moon and the sun, and throw them out again. It is one of the popular explanations for eclipses. Followers believe the eclipse is caused by Rahu’s shadow over the full moon.
According to local belief the economic crisis has been caused by Rahu and lucky objects are used to ward off evil omens during a solar eclipse in Thailand. Since black is the color of Rahu, black chicken, black liquor, black beans, black eggs, black rice and black moss sticks are thought to be lucky.
Most Thai people believe that bad luck always comes with an eclipse, so major changes and big losses are inevitable. Visits to the temple become more popular before such event. When an eclipse is experienced many people clash gongs and set off fireworks in order to frighten away the God Rahu.
According to animist beliefs, an eclipse takes place when the angry God Rahu tries to swallow the sun. The only way to prevent disaster is to scare Rahu away or placate him with offerings.
The biggest statue of Rahu in Thailand is at Wat Srisa Thong in Nakhon Pathom where many Thai people go to pray in case of big problems, when they feel that the god is upset…