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Myths Legends and Stories about Rainbows

posted 1/24/2008 8:04:14 PM |
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tagged: myths, legends, rainbows, stories, poems

Myths Legends and Stories about Rainbows

How interesting it has been ,in the last few weeks, to see so many Blogs here with some reference to “RAINBOWS”. I did a little research and found the following poems and essay’s on the subject of rainbows…

There is really a lot more Information out there on rainbows and how the are formed, the scientific information is quite extensive…

How we think of them now and the stories we were bought up with would be interesting…I remember the stories told about the “Pot of Gold” at the end of the rainbow. Now in later life I think of a rainbow as a wonderful and beautiful site, they always give me a tingling happy feeling…I think of love and remember the site in the children’s eyes as they saw a rainbow for the first time. The lingering rainbow at Niagara Falls and of course the Rainbow Bridge crossing into Canada at Niagara Falls…

I hope this brings back a few good memories for you…



[/QUOTE]We shall find the cube of the rainbow,
Of that there is no doubt;
But the arc of a lover's conjecture
Eludes the finding out
Emily Dickinson


Myths and Legends about Rainbows
Essay by Amy E. Davis

My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky: So it was when my life began; So it is now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, or let me die!"
These emphatic words by Wordsworth describe the way many have thought of rainbows for thousands of years.
Ever since Noah and the flood, people have been curious about rainbows. What do they mean? How are they formed? From fearful people to awestruck citizens, rainbows turn heads skyward. In fact, some of the myths people believed about rainbows are more interesting than the truth.
Irish legends speak of leprechauns and pots of gold hidden at the end of rainbows. While a nice big pot of gold would come in handy for anyone, especially for a poor college student, there is a problem. Rainbows appear to move as the observer does, so it is impossible to reach the end of a rainbow. Unfortunately, no one has ever gotten rich by finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
In medieval Germany, many believed that for forty years before the end of the world, no rainbows would appear. Thus, people were relieved to see a rainbow; as the saying goes: "So the rainbow appear, the world has no fear, until thereafter forty years."
Many cultures all over the world believed that rainbows led to God. Some tribes of North American Indians called the rainbow a "Pathway of Souls." In Japan, some refer to a rainbow as the "Floating Bridge of Heaven." In Hawaii and Polynesia, myths call the rainbow the "path to the upperworld." People in the Austrian Alps say righteous souls go to heaven via the rainbow. A myth of New Zealand said that dead chiefs went up a rainbow to the afterlife.
Rainbows have also been used to predict good hunting or sailing weather. "A rainbow in the eve: put thine head in the sheave, a rainbow in the morrow; go take thy bow, and arrow," told hunters that morning rainbows meant better weather was coming. "A rainbow in the morning is the sailor's warning; a rainbow at night is the sailor's delight," told sailors the same thing.
Other groups of people, though, were terrified of rainbows. Long ago, Zulus thought that a rainbow was an enormous supernatural serpent. They called these rainbows "snake bows" and believed that they came out after a rainfall to eat unsuspecting humans and cattle.
Throughout history, rainbows have been considered either very good luck or very bad luck. Some say it is bad luck if a rainbow's end rest on water. Others say it is good luck if the ends of the rainbow rest on land. Similarly, a rainbow that appears the day a child is born is considered good luck. On the other hand, in the past, Slavonic people believed that looking at the base of a rainbow would bring death. Others believed that pointing at the highest point of a rainbow would bring bad luck (anything from being struck by lightning to developing an ulcer to losing a finger).
Interestingly enough, although rainbows are scientifically explainable optical phenomena that occur when white light is refracted into its spectrum of colors, the dictionary still defines rainbows as Noah did: a symbol of hope
Essay by Amy E. Davis[QUOTE]

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Jan 24 @ 8:07PM  
excellant blog,,

Jan 24 @ 8:09PM  
You never seem to amaze me! Cuz I know you are a Shining Star!

Jan 24 @ 8:12PM  
Cool IB

Jan 24 @ 8:20PM  
Jeeeeze IB!! I have enough stories and stuff to look up and research now you have me wanting to check out stories on rainbows!!!
Good blog!!

Jan 24 @ 8:34PM  
Here ya go IB ! I was just looking at some gorgeous pictures of rainbows over Niagara Falls the other day. This one is a courtesy of Photobucket and the Photographer is lisafarrow.


Jan 24 @ 8:37PM  
Nice blog I just think rainbows are pretty.

Jan 24 @ 8:56PM  
This blog made me think about the first time I every saw a rainbow and went looking for the pot of gold at the end (never did find it) but as a kid have great memories of the search, oh yeah just remembered looking for the lepericun also. hehe

Jan 24 @ 8:57PM  
I wanted to post this with the blog...But took too much space

Rainbows revealed
Cheryl Dambrot
Have you ever wondered what was over the rainbow, or gone searching for the end in order to find the Leprechaun's pot of gold? Well, truth be told, the answer is there is nothing over the rainbow, and it has no end. This however has not stopped people from writing songs, such as "Somewhere over the Rainbow" or "The Rainbow Connection", making movies or legends around rainbows. Irish legends are filled with Leprechauns and finding their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Rainbows in western culture have been seen as symbols of renewed hope, while in many cultures they were thought to be a kind of bridge between heaven and earth. The North American Catawba Indians of the Southeast and the Tlingit of the Northwest saw rainbows as a bridge between living and the dead. Some cultures put significance on the color of the rainbow. The Irainian Moslems believe that a rainbow which is mainly green means abundance, red means war ,and yellow brings death. Other cultures, like the Arawak Indians of South America, give significance to the placement of the rainbow. If a rainbow is seen over the ocean it is a good sign. Still others see it in a completely different light. The tribes in Northeastern Siberia see a rainbow as "the tongue of the sun".

Nevertheless our progression of science has led us to discover the truth behind rainbows. They are no longer just brilliant colors in the sky; now they are rays of sunlight which have been refracted and reflected through raindrops. The raindrops act as a prism which disperses sunlight into its different wavelength. Sunlight is not made up of just one wavelength put many different wavelengths each which are seen as a different color. Each raindrop, because they are all shaped differently, refracts the sunlight at a different angle and produces a different color. When your back is to the sun the sunlight will hint numerous different raindrops and form a rainbow.

There are three different types of rainbows. A primary rainbow has the red band on the outer edge and the blue-violet band on the inside of the rainbow. A secondary rainbow is reflected twice before leaving the raindrop so the bands are reversed with the red band on the inside edge of the rainbow. A secondary rainbow is lighter than a primary rainbow. A teritary is theorically possible but would be very faint if it appeared in the sky and so is only occassionally seen in nature.

Rainbows in the sky do not occur all the time. Light and water must combine in the right way and at the right time of day. However, rainbows can be seen in may other things, and people can even create their own. All a person needs is a compact disc (CD) and sunlight or a flashlight. Just shine the light on the blank side of the CD (the side without any printing), and tilt the CD until the rainbow is reflected where you want it. It works best on a white wall or white piece of paper.

Whether you prefer to think of rainbows as magical colors in the sky or as mere reflections of light, which you can create yourself, does not matter. Rainbows have always been and will continue to be no matter how man sees them


Jan 24 @ 9:37PM  
I saw a huge one this afternoon, it was so beautiful and impressive, stretching a few miles acoss a valley here in So's like a brief incredible light show God puts on to remind us how fleeting beauty can be....and to appreciate it while it lasts....

Nice blog.

Jan 24 @ 10:50PM  
Yes, God Gave us sooooo many precious things in Nature...including the Beauty of Color! The most simple and natural things are what we sometmes fail to see as the Most Beautiful and Awe empowering!
Thanks for the Rainbow!

Jan 24 @ 11:18PM  

Thank You for the great responce....

Yes God did and does give us many things that are taken for granted on a daily basis...Even the man made legends would not exist today if it weren't for the wonderment of nature....

Isn't life GREAT !


Jan 25 @ 12:20PM  
Like the Rolling Stones song goes "Shes like a rainbow.Colors everywhere."

Mar 6 @ 11:39PM  
My Rainbow Bridge adventure...

I will never forget the day that I went along for a ride with a friend had a rainbow chase along an interstate bridge. After it happened I told him to bad we didn't have a camera. Sure enough another friend on the other end of the city. Took a picture of this giant unbelievable Rainbow. Take note of the face within the clouds. And here is the poem that best describes our adventure. With the bad state of the World we need hope in miracles and yes they still exist!


Both theoretically and metaphorically I was at a crossroads. The changing tides would whisper this so. For the wings of God’s angels had carried me far.

Blessing’s beyond all expectations inevitably I would know. Below a rainbow I once saw his face. It was cloaked in a shroud of mystery. It spoke to my heart “Prepare for all thing’s POSSIBLE!” These signs were just a small part of a greater ministry.


Was it our future awards and accolades?
The illusion of spectral color so grand.
The roots were the end of a rainbow.
That danced upon the watery sand.

Skylines and mountain lands would diminish.
While this bridge would link the past to the present.
A church that stood there years ago to
these days we now see.
Along that bridge GOD would erect a sign post.
Greater glories were not far indeed!

Seeing those radiant colors so bright!
Merely 30 feet from that bridge.
They pointed beyond our doubts and fears.
An amazing show of love from the Heavens. A rainbow bridge that would wipe away our tears.

The church that was there was my Grandmas church built before the interstate
and bridge came by. They tore down the old barn. But the Reflection of that glorious Rainbow proved otherwise. The name of the book my Grandma wrote about her old church was The Reflection in The Barn.

The rainbow pic can be see at my poetry site.

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