The Bakunawa

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Bakunawa is actually a deity that was represented as a serpentine dragon, according to Filipino mythology. He has two sets of wings, whiskers, a red tongue, and a mouth ‘the size of a lake.’ The Filipinos once thought that the Bakunawa lived in the sea at a time when the world had seven moons and that the dragons, being fascinated by their light, would rise out of the sky into the sky and consume the moons. Thus, the dragons were the cause of eclipses. To prevent the world from becoming dark the people would run out of their homes, taking their pots and pans, to make the most noise they could in order to scare the Bakunawa so they would stop eating the moons and give them the moonlight back. Interestingly, the name of the dragons, Bakunawa, can be translated as ‘moon eater’ or ‘man eater,’ the latter being atypical of Asian dragons.


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