Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Do We Wish On Shooting Stars ?

Among the most spectacular sights of the night sky are shooting stars. Unlike most celestial objects, shooting stars exist only briefly as they blaze across the sky and then suddenly fade. Shooting stars appear every night, as do several meteor showers in which dozens of shooting stars can appear every hour. For these reasons, many myths about shooting stars exist.

Legend has it that wishing upon a shooting star makes the wish come true. It is believed to have originated in Europe, when Greek astronomer Ptolemy, around AD 127-151, wrote that the Gods occassionally, out of curiosity, even boredom, peer down at the earth from between the spheres, and stars sometimes slip out of this gap, becoming visible as shooting or falling stars. Since the Gods are already looking at us at such a time, they tend to be more receptive to any wishes we make.

Another legend from native americans mentioned that in the land of Kluskap many years ago there lived two sisters who loved to watch the stars. One day when they were walking in the forest they became lost and in the evening they watched the stars as always. In two bright stars, one sister saw an Eagle and the other sister saw a hawk. These birds carried them up into heaven. They were very lonesome, for they were away from their own people and they prayed to Kluskap to have them returned to their homes. He said, "If I do this, you must not look back once we start on our journey". But the younger sister could not resist looking back to see if her older sister were following. As she did, she was immediately turned to flame. You can see her today. Look for a shooting star, it is the younger sister still trying to come back to her people in the old land of Kluskap.
People all over the world have different beliefs about meteors and meteorites. One thing they have in common though is a belief that meteors are extraordinary. For example;  

  • In Switzerland, a meteor was considered to possess the power of God.

  • Swabians believed that a shooting star presaged a year of good fortune, but if one saw three in one night, then he was doomed to die.

  • In Chile, one must pick up a stone when sees a meteor.

  • In the Philippines, one must tie a knot in a handkerchief before the light is extinguished.

  • Modern Hawaiian Japanese are reported to believe that if a meteor comes in your direction, you must open the collars of your kimono to admit the good luck.

  • In Baltic countries and central Europe, people believed that everyone had a personal star which fell upon his or her death. This led some to say such things as 'rest in peace' or 'may God guide you to a good path' upon seeing a meteor.

  • Pointing to a meteor or talking of a meteor was considered bad luck by some in America.

  • Among those who believed meteors signaled ill-omen, saying certain words could avert the bad luck--for example, 'amen,' 'God guide it,' or 'go away, go away, all by yourself.'

  • Perhaps the most famous omen was that divined form the Ensisheim stony meteorite which fell in Alsace (now in France) in 1492. The Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian assembled his council to help determine the meaning of the fall. The council determined that it as a good omen in his wars with France and the Turks 

  • But the truth is - Sometimes things happen, and sometimes they do not. Whether the event is preceded by 'wishing on a shooting star' has nothing whatever to do with it. However, it does remind me of the Japanese drama :Nagareboshi" which mean - Shooting Star ! 



    1. follow me back..


    Pulau Langkawi : Home Is Where The Heart Is.

    One of my favourite place.. A space that raised me, the birth place of my dreams. I really feel connected like I’m part of its puls...