Lunar eclipse: Is it safe to eat food during Chandra Grahan? Some diet beliefs and myths associated with the eclipse

A lunar eclipse is a big celestial event for skygazers. The year’s last lunar eclipse will be visible on Novemeber 30, 2020, coinciding with Kartik Purnima. Much like the last eclipse, this lunar eclipse will also be a penumbral one, i.e. when the earth comes between the moon and the sun.

The eclipse will be visible in our country between the hours of 1:04 PM and 5:22 PM, reaching its peak at 3:13 PM. Those who believe in astrology know that eclipses garner special significance in traditional texts and there are a lot of customs and rituals followed on the day too. In some communities, it is even advised that a person does not eat, or work during the hours of the eclipse. There are also some dietary beliefs which are broadly followed on the day.

Is it safe to eat on the day of the eclipse?

According to modern science, there is no real fear if a person eats or carries out certain tasks on the day of an eclipse. However, lunar eclipses are considered to be a harbinger of changes and a representative of bad omen. Hence, precautions are followed. Pregnant women are advised to be very cautious and avoid contact with harmful objects.

That being said, there are certain preventive tips which you can definitely follow to safeguard your health.

Diet do’s and don’ts

Some of the most commonly believed diet myths surround the food which should be consumed and the ones which should be avoided. Religious texts suggest that the moon’s powerful rays may hamper or ruin the nutritive properties of the food and make it unfit for consumption.

We tell you some of the most prevalent dietary customs followed on the day:

Raw food must be avoided

In traditional communities, consumption of raw food, certain fruits and vegetables is not advised. It is assumed that the rays of the moon can ruin its properties and make it unfit for eating. The same extends to alcohol, non-vegetarian produce or any items which take a long time to digest.

No pre-cooked food in the kitchen

Just like some people follow the practice of bathing after the eclipse ends, no pre-cooked food is made available in the house during the duration of the eclipse. Traditional beliefs dictate that the strong emissions which are emitted from the moon can contaminate or decay the food. Hence, as a measure, many families do not cook anything or prepare food in advance on the day of the eclipse, and instead, choose to have something light and fresh once the eclipse ends. Again, there is no scientific claim behind this happening.

Adding Tulsi leaves to prepared food is a must

Some people prefer adding some tulsi (holy basil) seeds to the food while preparing it to cut out the radiation which might tamper the food’s taste or quality. While there is no conclusive proof behind this custom, adding tulsi seeds to your food, or simply increasing its intake is good to fight certain infections and keep the body healthy.

What should you do?

While it’s important to use your own jurisdiction and consider your health before following any custom, do remember that your diet should be as natural and healthy as possible. From the Ayurvedic point of view, you should be eating light and easy-to-digest foods a minimum of two hours before the eclipse. Drinking detoxifying teas and soothing supplements which are good for your immunity can also help.

Another thing you could do is consider adding ginger or lemon slices to plain water, which can be helpful.

It’s always recommended to consult a doctor before practising any of the measures listed here.

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