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Maximum darkness of solar eclipse in Kathmandu occurs

2009-07-22 11:58 BJT

Special Report: View Solar Eclipse |

KATHMANDU, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Maximum darkness of solar eclipse in Nepali capital Kathmandu occurred at 6:42:41 local time (GMT 00:57:41).

The eclipse entered Kathmandu at 5:46:09 a.m. on Wednesday (GMT 00:01:09) and is to end at 7:45:29 (GMT 02:00:29).

"The eclipse can be viewed completely in the east and the percentage drops gradually in the west," said Nepali astronomer Jayanta Acharya.

Viewed from Kathmandu at local time 0630 (GMT 0045), the sun hid itself in the clouds, while at 6:42:41 local time (GMT 00:57:41), maximum darkness of the sun in Kathmandu occurred.

The Kathmandu people in the south side of Himalayas, who are used to getting up earlier, could hardly be seen in the streets.

All the people are praying at home.

According to the Hindu religion, people believed the God of the Sun was suffering during solar eclipse.

Being unaware of the fact that solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon long before, Nepali people perform toughest rituals regarding religious beliefs traditionally.

It is prohibited to eat anything before 12 hours of solar eclipse and until it passes. One should not go for toilet nor can spit. To sleep, to shower and to walk outside during solar eclipse is strictly against the Hindu religion.

"Now, I've had rice, 12 hours before that and I cannot eat until the Sun gets free from this suffering," said Rama Thapaliya, a 56 year-old house wife, on Tuesday afternoon.

According to her, one has to keep on praying for god until eclipse happens. "It is better to douse oneself into the Holy River while chanting prayer for god," she added.

House wives like Thapaliya can hardly read or perform such rituals triggered by the Hindu religion, but almost all follow the rituals. Some even tend to close themselves inside the light tight room to be safe from sun rays during the eclipse.

The Nepali government has announced a public holiday on this very day on Wednesday, which is the best paragon oblivious of natural occurrence, some local experts said.