Ancient societies would act wild in order to free the Sun from the animal.
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Solar Eclipses Were not Always Enjoyed
Eclipses have been watched for centuries, but it was only recently that we understood what really occurs. Eclipses have always been fascinating to watch, but they weren't always welcome. For many years, civilizations around the world feared these rare occasions.
Ancient people were convinced a solar eclipse was a sign of something horrible. Some civilizations believed that the Sun was being eaten by some sort of animal, such as a dragon or wolf. They felt the only way to free the Sun was to act wild. So, the people would make noises called hullabaloos while dancing around and acting crazy. They continued this until the Sun was "free" from the animal.
Others believed an eclipse was a sign of disease and death. In South America, they believed a hidden Sun was the source of smallpox and the Spanish influenza. Some thought the Moon was evil, and chased after the Sun. In some stories, the Sun goddess was being chased by her brother, the Moon god. When he caught up with her, he would do evil things. People thought this meant evil things would happen on Earth.
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