Pradeep Pattanayak

There will be a partial solar eclipse today, starting at 2.28pm and ending at 5.32 pm. In Bhubaneswar, the celestial event will be visible for about 20 minutes from 4.56 pm to 5.16 pm.

Moreover, the Moon will cover only 10 to 15 percent of the Sun. This being the last eclipse of the year, there is a lot of enthusiasm among the sky watchers. However, scientists have advised them to avoid watching the event with naked eyes.

The solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and the three celestial bodies come in one line and the Moon obstructs sun rays from falling on the Erath. 

There is science as well as faith associated with this event.

As per astrologers, cooking and religious rituals are suspended 12 hours before the eclipse begins. Today, there should be no cooking, food intake and any kind of religious rituals after 4.56 am. The eclipse will take place at 4:56:52 pm while the Sarva Moksha will occur at 6:26:52 pm.

Also Read | Know everything about this year’s last solar eclipse, its good and bad impact on zodiac signs & remedies

Keeping the eclipse in mind, the Chhatisa Nijog at Puri Srimandir has fixed the special ritual timetable. ‘Dwara Phita’ ritual will be held at 12 am, ‘Sakala Dhupa’ between 2.30 and 3.00 am, ‘Bala Dhupa’ at 4 am and ‘Bhoga Mandap’ will be performed at 4.55am before the closing of the rituals.

After ‘Bhoga Mandap’ ritual, ‘Radha Damodar Besha Mailam’ ritual will be performed and then ‘Mahasnana’ ritual will be held after the eclipse and then the other rituals will follow.

People can start cooking food and worshiping deities after bath once the eclipse is over. 
On this occasion, several things like touching Tulsi plant, discussing religious topics, doing auspicious works and sleeping are advised to be avoided. Similarly, for pregnant women, there are some pieces of advice as well.

According to astrologist Saroj Maharana, people of four zodiac signs like Cancer, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Pisces shouldn’t come out and watch the Sun.

Maharana has advised people to abstain from eating cooked food during the eclipse period. 

But the deputy director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar, Dr Subhendu Patnaik has a different opinion. He says 95 percent of people across the world take food during the eclipse period and they don’t experience any complications out of that. There is no scientific proof of any harmful effects of having food during the eclipse period.