Hungry demons, thieving dogs, and an angry sun!

All three are examples of what people in the past have thought caused a solar eclipse.

In Vietnam, people believed that a solar eclipse was caused by a giant frog devouring the sun.

Norse cultures, on the other hand, blamed wolves for eating it.

Korean folklore suggests mythical fire dogs are trying to steal the sun…they apparently always fail, but whenever they bite the sun, an eclipse happens.

Or how about the story of Rahu, A Hindu demon, who disguised himself as a god to get a taste of immortal life. The sun and moon saw him trying to steal this elixir and reported the crime to the god Vishnu.

Before Rahu can finish drinking the elixir, Vishnu sliced off Rahu’s head, leaving him without a body but an immortal brain. Now, the demon’s head continues to move through the sky, chasing the sun and moon for telling on him.

Every now and then he catches them, but since he has no throat, they fall right back out.

According to National Geographic, the Batammaliba people from Togo and Benin in Africa believe the sun and moon are fighting during an eclipse, and the people encouraged them to stop fighting.

A Navajo tradition is even more peaceful.

They believe an eclipse is just part of nature’s law, and a good time to stop, acknowledge the time is special and reflect on the cosmic order.


National Geographic

Griffith Observatory

Indigenous Education Institute