100 Days Until Totality Blog Series: 76 Days Left – Eclipses of Eastern Asia

Other cultures in Asia also had similar myths to China’s regarding solar eclipses. The ancient people of India often mixed religious myth with astronomy. In their explanation of a solar eclipse a serpentine demi-god known as Rahu is caught drinking “the nectar of the gods” and is beheaded by the god Vishnu as punishment. The severed head of Rahu flew into the sky a devoured the Sun causing an eclipse.

In Korean culture rather than a dragon or serpent they have a group of giant flaming dogs. The dogs were sent to steal the sun and return it to their king in the realm of darkness known as the Gamangnara. The myth goes that the dogs bite the Sun and try to pull it back but the Sun is too hot and they have to eventually let it go. Korean people actually bred a dog to look like the dogs from their myth, today the closest relative to this breed in the Jindo Spitz.

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