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The world is about to witness a total Lunar Eclipse on the night of July 27 and July 28 that will last about 1 hour 45 minutes.It is believed that this is going to be the longest lunar eclipse of the century.A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon falls under the Earth’s shadow by passing directly behind the Earth.This day will also be a Blood Moon, where the earth’s satellite takes on a reddish colour.During lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan, the earth tends to block direct sunlight reaching the moon.The only light that reflects is refracted by the earth’s atmosphere;this light appears red in colour, which is why it is called Blood Moon.

Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018: Date And Timing Of The Blood moon

Chandra Grahan is slated to be on full moon night that will fall on the night of July 27. The first phase of the eclipse will begin from 11:54 pm IST on July27, when moon will be cast in earth’s shadow.

The total lunar eclipse is said to be visible from 1:00 am IST from July 28, and will be visible in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, et al.

The second phase of the eclipse will start from 2:43 am IST, wherein a partial lunar eclipse will be taking place.

While stargazers are excited to witness the Blood Moon on this big day, there are certain beliefs or myths that revolve around this phenomenon.Here are some dos and don’ts suggested by Dr.Mitali Madhusmita, Senior Doctor, Sri Sri Tattva Panchakarma.

Stop eating two hours before an eclipse.

Eat light and easy to digest foods before and after eclipse.Turmeric can be added to it for its antibacterial properties.Avoid non-vegetarian food because it takes very long to digest.

Don’t carry any cooked food anywhere before an eclipse, as the harmful radiation during an eclipse can be absorbed by the food.

Pregnant women and elderly may eat during the eclipse.However, they should eat light food like dry fruits and raisins to give them energy.

Even drinking water is to be avoided.If you’re very thirsty, you may, however, drink flowing water or tender coconut water.You may also drink water that has been boiled and cooled with Tulsi Arka (with anti-viral properties) to avoid infections.

Darbha grass kept in food containers.

According to Dr. Mitali, “At the time of an eclipse, it is said that it is beneficial to place Darbha (Desmotachya Bipinnata) grass on food items that could ferment and once the eclipse ends, the grass is removed. As explained above,the high amount of micro-organic growth in food can infect the food; therefore, the Darbha grass, which is a natural disinfectant is placed in stored foods to avoid any infection.”

Chandra Grahan 2018: Why Does The Food Get Infected During Lunar Eclipse;Reveals Expert

Dr. Mitali explains, “During eclipse, the wavelength and intensity of light radiations available on the earth’s surface is altered. Especially, the blue and ultraviolet radiations, which are known for their natural disinfecting property, are not available in sufficient quantities during eclipse.This leads to uncontrolled growth of micro-organisms in food products during eclipse and the food products are not suitable for consumption. One of the other major reasons you’re asked to stay on an empty stomach is to aid your meditation/ chanting during the eclipse, which are far less effective when done on a full stomach. Hence it’s advised to stop eating at least two hours before an eclipse, so all the food can get digested by the time you sit down to meditate.”

Chandra Grahan 2018: Is This All Mere Superstition?Here’s What Ayurveda Experts Suggest

There is a flip side to these beliefs and some may not entirely follow the practice of avoiding food and drinks during an eclipse.Ayurveda expert Ram N Kumar from night street these beliefs as mere superstitions.He says, “There is no mention of dos and don’ts in Ayurveda about such beliefs. The only reference that’s present is that we should avoid indulging in an auspicious work. It is perfectly safe to eat and drink during eclipse, Ayurveda is ahealth science and it doesn’t promote superstition. Not eating and drinking during eclipse and mandatory bath after eclipse is superstition. One can safely lead a normal lifestyle during eclipse.”

Adding to this, Yogi Anoop Founder and Director at MediYoga explains, “During lunar eclipse, the moon tends to be nearer to the earth, which means there are certain electro-magnetic waves in the river bodies. Moreover, our bodies are made up of 72 percent water, which is why one can experience physiological changes. You could become moody and end up eating a lot of food, which can cause and upset stomach. This is why most experts suggest that one must not eat food during this time as it may like time to digest. Rather pick on lighter foods that may help keep your digestion going strong. You can, otherwise, follow a normal routine as everything else is superstition.”

NASA believes that there is no evidence that supports any physical effect of lunar eclipse on humans but it may have a psychological affect.Superstition or not, it’s about what you believe and follow.

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