The rainbow has a place in legend owing to its beauty and the historical difficulty in explaining the phenomenon
❖ In Greco-remoan mythology, the rainbow was considered to be a path made by a messenger (iris) between earth and heaven
❖ In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was slit in the sky sealed by goddess nüwa using stone of different colors
❖ The Irish leprechaun's secret place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. This place is impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer. When walking towards the end of a rainbow it will appear to “move” further away. (two people who simultaneously view a rainbow will disagree about where it is”
❖ According to Genesis, after Noah’s flood god put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his promise that he would never again destroy the earth with a flood (Genesis 9:13-17)
➢ Rabbinic judaism learns from this portion of the bible that rainbows are the symbol of “divine anger and patience”. On the occasion of seeing a rainbow, a blessing is said, thanking god for promising to never again flood the world.
❖ The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith stated that the second coming of christ would not occur in any year in which a rainbow is seen.
❖ In the “Dreamtime” of Austrailian Aboriginal mythology the “rainbow serpent” is the deity of water
❖ In Amazonian cultures, rainbows have long been associated with malign spirits that cause harm, such as miscarriages and especially skin problems ➢ In “Amuesha” the language of central peru, certain diseases are called “ayone’achartan” meaning “the rainbow hurt my skin”
❖ In new age and Hindu philosophy, the seven colors of the rainbow represent the seven chakras, from the first chakra (red) to the seventh chakra (violet)
❖ Triple rainbows exist along with quadruple rainbows.
❖ A lot of pre-christianity civilizations were actually terrified of rainbows. In early civilizations such as the fertile crescent, or the society living between the tigris and euphrates rivers, rainbows were associated with demons and other things, as early civilizations were non-trusting of nature and would be fearful of floating displays of color. Most civilizations post-christianity are very pro-rainbow and loving of them however.
❖ In europe and North America, storms tend to move eastward and rainbows follow them as “something colorful and beautiful, associated as a sign of salvation or rescue from the perils that have just passed over you” but in Australia where the geography is different, the aboriginal view was more attuned to the power of nature. “If you’re on the receiving end of natural disasters, you tend to have a less sunny view of whatever the sign is that you’re seeing. In the case of the rainbow, the natural world has just gotten through doing something violent and you may not be the better for the episode.
❖ Some cultures beileve that pointing at a rainbow brings bad luck, because it is so powerful. You can’t touch it, so if you point at it you’re messing with the divine – and the divine will make you pay.
❖ Various cultures hold forth that rainbows are able to reverse sexuality from whatever is deemed societally normal. In Venegueda, the rainbow was a biologically unproductive entity, “The rainbow serpent from Austraila is androgynous… it can change sex at will”
➢ Hungariam folklore and other European mythology have a similar belief, and a rainbow is also portrayed in the I Chins, an ancient chinese text, with complementary male and female aspects. “There are all kinds of strange secual- going-on that are associated with rainbows.