Every April 3 is celebrated on International Rainbow Daya date used to enhance and celebrate the fascinating optical illusion that for centuries has given rise to myths, legends, Biblical tales and fantastic explanations of its meaning.

How are rainbows formed?

Rainbows are optical and meteorological phenomena that result from the breakdown of sunlight due to refraction: it occurs when the sun’s rays pass through raindrops at an angle of 42 degrees, resulting in a halo of multicolored light. Because of this, it is normal to see an arc-shaped halo of light in the sky with bright colors. The most common that we can appreciate are red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, blue and violet.

Curiosities about rainbows

1- You cannot measure the beginning or end of a rainbow or its anglesince this largely depends on the place where the person observing this phenomenon is located.

2- It does not appear in the sky at midday: For this phenomenon to manifest, it is necessary that some conditions exist such as the presence of sunlight and that the day is rainy, in addition, that the sun is located less than 42 degrees above the horizon.

3- May be visible at night: Although less frequent, human beings can enjoy a fabulous spectacle of light and color with a full moon, if the sun’s rays collide with the raindrops, then a rainbow can be seen.

4- It became the symbol of the LGBTQIA flag: It is used as an emblematic symbol of some movements that seek dignity and tolerance, such as the LGBT community. The flag carries six colors and each one has a meaning, whose intention is to assert the rights of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals within the society of the 20th century.

The most common legends and myths

One of the most widespread throughout history is the irish legend which tells that behind the rainbows some little elves are hiding. It is said that these goblins guard a treasure, usually a bucket full of gold coins, that they carry with them and that it is only possible to see them at the junction of heaven and earth, just when a rainbow appears. There and only there is the only time these goblins show up.

There is also an explanation for the Catholicism. According to the Old Testament, the rainbow was created by God after the Universal Flood. In the biblical story, this would appear as a sign of divine will and to remind men of the promise made by God himself to Noah that he would never again destroy the earth with a flood.

Inside of Greek mythology an explanation was also given to the phenomenon: for them, the rainbow was a messenger goddess between heaven and earth called Iris, daughter of Thaumante and the oceanid Electra. On the other hand, for the nordic, the rainbow or «Bifrost» was a bridge that linked Midgard (the world of men) and Asgard (the world of the gods) guarded by the god Heimdall.