Last updated at 12:33 BST, Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Unlucky solar eclipse


22 July 2009

Nepal is one of many Asian countries affected by Wednesday's total solar eclipse. Traditionally most Nepalis think eclipses are unluckly but not everyone thinks this eclipse is bad news.

Joanna Jolly

A solor eclipse


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In Nepal, eclipses are traditionally considered bad luck and many people are already making preparations for any ill-effects that may accompany Wednesday's event. These students relaxing in the peaceful surroundings of Patan Durbar Square are cautious about how the eclipse will affect them:

(Student 1, female)
We heard that some kind of disaster will come after that.

(Student 2, male)
People say we shouldn't come out from home for this. It's very dangerous. We should not eat anything, we should not drink anything.

(Student 3, female)
I'm also a little bit curious because according to the horoscope of mine, maybe something new happens in my life like new studies or in professional areas.

In Kathmandu, popular TV astrology shows are reporting an increase in calls, with people asking whether the eclipse will mean years of bad luck and how to avoid it.

There are also traditional practices outlining what you should and should not do during an eclipse. Eating, drinking and sleeping are not advised. Pregnant women are told to stay indoors just in case there's an adverse effect on their unborn child. And hospitals have reported that would-be parents have postponed scheduled caesarean operations, to ensure their children are not born under bad omens.

The best place to view an eclipse is considered to be in water and many people will travel to temples around the country to immerse themselves in holy streams and rivers. However, some Nepalis are ignoring tradition completely. One local airline is scheduled to fly over Mount Everest to ensure it gets the best view of the event.

Joanna Jolly, BBC News, Nepal


Click to hear the words:



occasions when the sun disappears from view, either completely or partly, while the moon is moving between it and the Earth


bad or negative feelings or emotions


description of what is going to happen to you, based on the position of the stars and planets at the time of your birth


the belief that the sun, moon and planets influence people's character and behaviour


giving the main facts about something


inside your house, not outside it

an adverse effect

a bad consequence or result

caesarean operations

medical operations which cut open a woman's womb so that a baby can be born

under bad omens

at unlucky times

immerse themselves

put themselves completely under water

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