It is good to know some of the folktales our country has. This is one of legend that is common told in java.
People in some villages in java believe that an eclipse happens when the sun or the moon is swallowed by Batara Kala, an evil giant.
The story says that although Batara Kala is not one of the gods in heaven, he is very powerful.
One day Batara Wisnu (the protector gods) distributed “Tirta Amerta Sari”, the drink of the gods. Anyone who drank it would never die. Batara Kala wanted to have some too, so he tried to cheat by taking the form of a god. Batara Surya (The Sun God) and Batari Chandra (The Moon Goddess), however, knew of the trick and told Batara Wisnu about it. When Batara Kala’s turn came to receive the drink, Batara Wisnu shot him from a distance with famous weapon the cakra and it cut his head off. Some of drink, however, spilled over Batara Kala’s head and this made his head live forever. From then on Batara Kala has continued to live without his body.
Batara Kala was very angry with Batara Surya and Batari Chandra and tied to eat them, but the god and goddess escaped. Batara Kala got angrier and from that time on he has never stopped chasing them.
Batara Wisnu wanted to protect the god and the goddess and ordered the people on earth to make a lot of noise whenever there is an eclipse. The noise would help Batara Surya and Batari Chandra to escape from Batara Kala’s throat.
To this Day, people beat objects like rice grinders when they see an eclipse. They stay in their house and pregnant women are told to hide under their beds in order to avoid Batara Kala’s anger.