lunar eclipse.jpgZimbabweans have expressed mixed feelings following a total eclipse that took place at 22:22pm last night with some saying it is a clear sign of the end of times, while some believe the phenomenon was a cleansing ceremony as the eclipse is believed to have powers that scare away diseases and other bad omen in their lives.

 

Some people said they were excited with the spectacular view. Others seem to have been taken aback by the wave of prophets of doom linking the phenomenon to the end of times.

Some quoted bible verses like Acts 2;20 which says the sun shall turn into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the Lord.

 

University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Dr Amon Murwira said scientifically the phenomenon is a result of the shadow of the earth on the sun.

 

He said the alignment between the earth, moon and sun at times result in the earth partially casting its shadow to the moon resulting in an eclipse and the spectacle will be visible in the rest of Africa.

Traditional healers Sekuru Mbewe and Sekuru Sibanda said such a phenomenon is a cleansing ceremony for the country, adding that since the moon is associated with a lot of things the eclipse of the moon opens a new chapter in people’s lives.

Zimbabwe experienced the longest eclipse in 7 years lasting about 4 hours, while a total lunar eclipse lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes.

While modern day appreciates the science behind lunar eclipse, this unusual phenomenon that throws the orderly timing of the cosmos into chaos used to be a frightening sight for our ancestors.

Eclipses have even influenced history and today there are still many that attach ancient superstitions to it. The term eclipse is derived from an ancient Greek word ‘eklipses’ which means the abandonment, the downfall or the darkening of the heavenly body.

Many early cultures including the Greek and Egyptians identified the lunar body as that of their goddess.

The Muslim who prays 5 times a day change their pattern of prayer to praying once on the day because they believe it shows Allah’s great works.

In ancient times when there was an eclipse, the Chinese would bang pots and drums to scare away the dragon which they believe would be eating the moon or the sun.

In the 19th century, Chinese actually fired cannons when there was an eclipse to scare away the dragon.

Research shows that there are fewer people admitted in hospitals during and after eclipse as the phenomenon is believed to have powers that scare away diseases.