Why was the sun god Worshipped?

Myths about the sun

Long ago, people in many cultures throughout the world worshipped the sun. No wonder! Like us, they could not live without it. They depended on it for light, warmth, and even food. The following tales are about the sun gods of some long-ago peoples.

Old Man Sun lived among the San, wanderers in Africa’s Kalahari Desert. Light shone from his armpits whenever he raised his arms. The San children lifted the old man while he slept and threw him into the sky, where his light could shine on everyone.

The sun god of the Zuni, a Native American people, sent his sons to Earth’s people, who lived underground. The sons led the people on a difficult journey to the surface of the planet Earth. When they arrived, even the light of the morning stars hurt their eyes. And when the sun first rose, they cried out in pain. But soon they could look around and see the many beautiful things in their new world.

How did ancient people explain the apparent motion of the sun across the sky? The Greeks thought the god Helios drove it every day in a chariot across the heavens. The Egyptians said the god Re brought light to the world by sailing the sun across the sky in his boat. Maoris of New Zealand believed one of their heroes had fought the sun and crippled it, so that it limped across the sky.

Some peoples believed that an eclipse was a sign that the sun god was angry with them. They believed that prayer and offerings would calm the sun god.

The ancient Chinese had a different belief. They thought a dragon was actually eating the sun during an eclipse. They made noises to scare off the dragon so that it would leave the sun alone.

A Japanese story says that the first eclipse happened when Amaterasu, the sun goddess, hid in a cave. The other gods began singing, dancing, and laughing just outside the cave. Curious about the uproar, Amaterasu peered out and was surprised to see her own reflection in a mirror that the gods had made. As she paused, one of the gods took her hand and pulled her outside. The eclipse was over.

Picture Credit : Google

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