Legends about the Sun

In 459 BC, a Greek philosopher named Anaxagoras stated, “The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens.”  Humankind, through the centuries and around the world, created legends around the sun in attempts to explain it. 

In various times, the sun evolved from a demon to a mischief-maker to a god.  Sometimes it gives life, other times it takes life, but most life could not exist without its radiance and warmth.


The book of Genesis in the King James Version of the Christian Bible states:

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.”

Ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun as a god of creation, Ra or Re.  Kings always called themselves, Son of Ra.  They believed that Ra sailed over the world in a ship and brought the rays that gave life.   At night he retired to the underworld and left the world in darkness but he was born again in the morning
Indigenous Peoples Legends


The Aztecs believed that the sun struggled constantly against darkness.  He needed the blood of human sacrifice to win this battle and keep the world from being plunged into eternal darkness.


Hindu people believed that Surya, the sun god, is the image of the divine.  Pictured as a red man with four arms and three eyes, he rides across the sky in a chariot pulled by seven horses or in some versions, one horse with seven heads. 

Surya heals the sick.   People hold annual festivals to honor him and they build temples dedicated to him.  Merchants hang the sun symbol over their doors for good luck and a prosperous business.

 Multiple Suns

Chinese mythology says that ten suns once traveled the sky.  Each day, their mother Xihe took one of them on the trip with her.  One day, they all came out together.  It got so hot that it angered their father Dijun and he told them to go back.   

They defied their father and played in the sky anyway.   Dijun sent Yi. the archer, to shoot the suns.  Yi shot nine of the suns and left only Xihe to warm the earth.

Aztec and some American Indian legends tell of five suns. Each sun ruled a different era.  We are in the era of the fifth sun.


The sun is necessary for life, as we know it.  The earth would die without its warmth and light.  Early peoples created many legends to explain the sun and the way it comes to life every morning and dies every night.

Many today worship the sun in a way.  It brings them to beaches and parks.  They expose their skin to its rays and enjoy the warmth.  Light brings hope and happiness while darkness breathes of evil and danger. Long live the sun!


first people.com
Pantheon.org Encyclopedia Mystica
King James Version of the Bible