The total solar eclipse on Monday is a much-anticipated event in the U.S., and aside from the conventional viewing practices, there are groups and people who have strange ways of celebrating the rare occasion. Take for example a nudist club in Lonedell, Missouri who’s having an eclipse viewing party.
The nudist club is called the Forty Acre Club founded in 1950, and the only remaining nudist club in Missouri.
The club is well-prepared for the eclipse day as well. Board member Tom Morrissey says the club has five sites open for RV’s and nearly 12 sites available for tents on eclipse day. All the cabins are booked. There’s only one obvious rule for those joining the club in welcoming and viewing the eclipse, of course: they have to be naked.
Morissey said: “You have to use common sense based on weather and everything. In our pool area, common grounds, nudity is required.”
Morissey also added that the 40 Acre Club will be joining the nearby St. Clair, Mo. in turning the eclipse into a fun three-day festival along with several other cities in the path of totality. The merriment started on Friday with eclipse themed dances in the pavilion, tournaments, potluck and pool party.
The nudist club’s way of celebrating the eclipse may be odd, but they are not alone as there are other strange eclipse rituals all over the world.
Banging Pots and Pans
It is a common practice in some societies in the Middle East to bang pots and pans during an eclipse. They believe that in an eclipse, the moon is attacking the sun and their ritual would scare the moon away.
Pregnant Women Keep Out
Indian folklore dictates that pregnant women must stay indoors during an eclipse because they believe the rays will be dangerous to unborn babies, and may cause birthmarks and other deformities.
No cooked food for Hindus
Some Hindu people throw away any cooked food during an eclipse and also clean their homes as a form of cleansing. There are also those who will chant through out the duration of the eclipse , while others donate to charities.
Shooting at the eclipse
In ancient China, the ritual during an eclipse is for warriors to shoot arrows at the moon, which they believed is similar to a dragon trying to eat the sun. They shot at the dragon to scare it away, or else the world would be enveloped into eternal darkness.