How long do rainbows usually last

You can see it often in windows and painted on asphalt these days: the rainbow. The cheerful, colorful drawings are a reminder to stay at home and hope for better times. The colorful bow is a strong symbol.

It started a few weeks ago as a hands-on campaign in social media and is drawing ever wider circles: children who now have a lot of time at home without kindergarten, daycare and school should paint rainbow pictures and place them clearly visible for their neighbors: in the window, on the balcony, with chalk on the sidewalk. The message, not just for other children: stay at home, we'll do it too - and at some point everything will be fine.

Seeing a rainbow always puts you in a good mood. And people have always been fascinated by the natural spectacle. Almost within reach, but far away, the sometimes strong, sometimes delicate arcs of color disappear after a few minutes. Even if April 2020 shines with an extremely good weather period - the month is usually known for its capricious weather. This is associated with frequent changes between sun and rain - and with it rainbows. It is not without reason that April 3rd is celebrated in the USA as "Find a Rainbow Day".

Refraction of light

Since the French philosopher Rene Descartes in 1649 and later scientists like Isaac Newton provided the physical explanations, it has been known that a rainbow is created by the refraction and reflection of sunlight in the individual raindrops. To see it, you have to stand between the sun and the receding rain shower. The light rays are broken down into the seven different colors of the spectrum. A second, weaker arc is formed when the light refracts several times in the drop. The delicate play of colors can also be observed at waterfalls, fountains or water fountains. Despite all the scientific explanations of the meteorological phenomenon, the sight of it amazes people.

People have always drawn inner strength and confidence from the sign of the rainbow. In many cultures, the tremendous play of colors and nature in the sky arouses religious feelings. The Teutons saw the mysterious arc, which touches both the ground and the sky, as a bridge between gods and humans. In the Bible, the bow is a sign of the covenant between man and God. So after the great flood he gives the survivors a sign of his loyalty and reconciliation with his creatures for all time. "He is the visible guarantor of the promise I make to the earth," says the Old Testament.

Rainbow as a comforting symbol

However you interpret it - today the popularity of the rainbow also expresses a longing for comforting signs and a better world. The symbol is constantly being reinterpreted, for example in the pace flag underlaid with a rainbow. The idea for this came from an Italian religious in 2002 in the run-up to the impending Iraq war. Alex Zanotelli publicly gave the slogan "Pace da tutti i balconi!", "Peace from all balconies!". The rainbow pace flag quickly became a global symbol of peace.

Homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals perceive their gender identity as colorful and dazzling as the rainbow. And so it is not surprising that the gay and lesbian scene has also made the colorful arc its distinguishing mark.

"Over the rainbow"

The music world has set a monument to the weather phenomenon with "Over the rainbow". Judy Garland first sang the title in 1939 in the score for "The Wizard of Oz". During the Second World War, the soulful song embodied the longing for the distant home for many soldiers. Artists all over the world have now given the song its own character.

Most recently, the version of the Hawaiian artist Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, who died in 1997, captured the hearts and ears of many music fans. Accompanied by his ukulele alone, he made a chill song out of it. Maybe right now it invites you to dream yourself in a place far away from Corona in your own four walls, "where troubles melt like lemon drops", where worries melt away like lemon drops.