R=Rockwell extra bold is modeled on a 1910 font that was originally called Litho Antique. It was revived in the 1920’s and then re-published under its current name in 1934 by Monotype (Frank Hinman Pierpont)
“The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” – Henry David Thoreau
Life on Rainbow Hill is almost always suffused with rainbows. This seems like the most natural subject for today’s “R” post in the A-Z challenge. This post was going to be in all the colors of the rainbow, but yellow does not read very well so I’ve settled for a more random spectrum sampling.
Rainbows are the sun’s rays refracted or reflected by rain or mist into an arc of color. These rainbow arcs always have their colors in the same sequence: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
A well-known English Mnemonic is “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” and the less interesting American English of “ROY G BIV”.
Languages all around the world have their own mnemonics for remembering the order of colors in the rainbow.
I recommend this site not only for its great information on all aspects of rainbows, but also for the best exploration of the global range of mnemonics for remembering rainbow color order. http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol6/rainbow.htm
See http://www.fi.edu/color/rainbow.html for a more scientific explanation of the continuum of rainbow colors.
Rainbows come many different guises under many different names:
Twinned Rainbow, Double Rainbow, Primary Rainbow, Secondary Rainbow, Tertiary Rainbow, Quaternary rainbows, Alexander’s Band, Higher-order Rainbows, A Supernumerary Rainbow—also known as a Stacker Rainbow, Reflected Rainbow, Reflection Rainbow, Monochrome Rainbow, Moonbows, Fogbow, Spraybow, and Glory, etc.
Now on to the mythology which is rich and replete with more stories than I can incorporate into in one post. I will eventually get to all of them in future posts.
There are very few cultures that do not have a rainbow in their mythology. I’m still looking to see if I can find one that has a mythology lacking in some sort of rainbow. Please tell me, which mythologies do not have rainbows?
Due to the popularity of the Marvel Thor movies, the Norse Bifrost (Rainbow Bridge) is probably the third most-known rainbow mythology after that of Noah and the Ark and the Irish tales of a leprechauns and pots of gold.
Some translations of the “The Epic of Gilgamesh” describe the rainbow’s mass of colors as a divine sanction for war and a rainbow crown was worn by the Sumerian god Ninurta.
Persian mythology uses rainbows for divination.
In Greek Mythology, Iris who is a messenger of the gods who dresses in rainbow hues.
Australian Aboriginal mythology focuses on the Rainbow Serpent. In Japan the rainbow also represents snakes.
In Arabian mythology the rainbow is a bow for Quzah, an Arabian god of weather http://www.mythologydictionary.com/arabian-mythology.html. And the Hindu god Indra also uses the rainbow as a bow.
In Bhuddism the rainbow is just one step below Nirvana.
For the Karens in Burma, the rainbow is a demon that eats children. The Karens are a most interesting people with a very rich background. The Karens have long been engaged in a civil war and have been the subject of ethnic cleansing. This is one of the most neutral accounts I’ve found of the conflict. http://asianhistory.about.com/od/glossaryko/g/Who-Are-The-Karen-People.htm
For the romantics in the crowd, Chinese folklore has star-crossed lovers that are colors of the rainbow waiting for it to shine so they can be together.
My favorite so far is that in Bulgarian legends you will change genders if you walk under a rainbow. I think that may be worthy of a story or two. http://bnr.bg/en/post/100151281/the-rainbow-bulgarian-legends-and-beliefs
Here is a small sampling to choose from:
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou