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.
Click to hear the report:
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