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Lunar Eclipse 2021: Diet beliefs and myths associated with the celestial event

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The Times Of India
26th May, 2021 14:00 IST

Nature is full of several surprises that never fails to amaze us. In fact, many of them are so mesmerizing that they leave us completely surprised and startled.

One such Nature's bombshell is a lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse takes place when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow. The Earth has to be directly between the Sun and the Moon, and a lunar eclipse can only take place during a full Moon. There are three types of lunar eclipse - penumbral, partial, and total.

The first total lunar eclipse of 2021 is set to take place today (May 26). A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and its shadow covers the Moon. It is going to be an especially superlunar event, as it will be a supermoon, a lunar eclipse, and a red blood moon all at once. It will be visible in India, much of Europe, Asia, Australia, North Africa, West Africa, North America, South America, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean , and the Arctic. The eclipse will start at 2:17 am, according to the Indian Standard Timing (IST), and be visible until 7:19 pm.

There are many diet myths and beliefs associated with a lunar eclipse. Here is a look at a few of them.

1. One of the most popular beliefs is that one should not eat at all during a lunar eclipse. However, as per the Astronomical Society of India , it is just a superstition that has roots in the pre-electricity era. During that time, people believed that it is harmful to eat in the dark as there are chances that it could have been spoiled by insects or other contaminants.

2. Another popular belief is that pregnant women should not go out, eat or drink for fear of adverse effects on the fetus. As per many doctors, many of their patients do not step out during a lunar eclipse. While they do not object to patients staying indoors, they do advise women to eat and drink normally to avoid weakness that could harm their unborn child.

3. Many people believe that cooking food and cutting fruits and vegetables should not be done during a lunar eclipse. It is said that the harmful radiation during the eclipse may tamper the food and make it unfit for consumption. However, modern scientific experts have rejected such beliefs by claiming that celestial bodies are moving all the time, and selected incidents like lunar eclipse do not leave an impact on the food.

4. In order to prevent contamination of food during a lunar eclipse, many people add Tulsi leaves or Turmeric to them. This is done since both of them are believed to be natural immunity boosters rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Many people also avoid the consumption of raw food, certain fruits, and vegetables during a lunar eclipse. It is assumed that the rays of the moon can ruin them and make them unfit for eating. The same extends to alcohol, non-vegetarian produce, or any items which take a long time to digest.

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