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It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) Radio

(NEWSER) – Three astronomical events are happening Friday, and depending on whom you talk to and how superstitious they are, it's either going to be a day filled with good luck or a pretty terrible one. A rare solar eclipse/supermoon/vernal equinox combo will be taking place, with prime eclipse viewing spots in Europe, much of northern Africa, western Asia, and parts of the Mideast and Newfoundland, reports the Guardian—which notes that "some Christian ministers have viewed the rare collision of three celestial events as the beginning of the end of the world." Some of the other legends and superstitions regarding the event:

  • Mythology from a variety of cultures promoted the idea that an eclipse meant dinnertime for malevolently ravenous creatures. In China, a dragon was believed to eat the sun, while Hindu legend has the sun eaten by the floating head of the demon Rahu, the Christian Science Monitor notes. Other sun-eating predators: Korea's "fire dogs," Vietnam's space frogs, and the Vikings' sky wolves, per National Geographic.
  • It's also apparently time to beware of everyday dangers: A long-standing superstition is that pregnant women are especially at risk during an eclipse and that harm may come to their unborn children, the BBC has noted. In India, meanwhile, some folks fast because they believe food prepared during an eclipse is poisoned, per theGuardian.

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