Friday, April 22, 2016

Dancing With The Lights

Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis  Have you ever seen dancing lights?  I have.  I've seen them in green, blue, purple, and pink.  I've seen them swirl, ripple, bounce up and down to the point they seem almost alive.  They appear in darkness and flee in the light.  Photos and videos do not do justice.  Only when you see them in person will you appreciate the full beauty.

I'm talking about the Aurora Borealis, lights that appear in both hemispheres but are best seen in the colder parts of the winter.  Did you know there are all sorts of stories and beliefs associated with these lights?

Around here, they say if you whistle, the lights will dance. The lights go up with the higher notes and go down with the lower notes. There are all sorts of stories associate with these beautifully memorizing lights.

One group in the northern most part of Alaska viewed these lights as evil beings and always carried their knives with them when they went out.  Other groups see the Aurora as the spirits of the dead playing ball with animal skulls.  Some say the lights are the spirits of the animals they've caught for their meals.

Alaskan natives are not the only ones with myths of Auroral displays.
In Norse mythology, the lights represent the spears armor, and helmets of the women warriors called the Valkyries.  In Finland, it is said the Aurora is caused by a fox who brushes the snow with his tail and causes sparks to fly into the sky. 

One of the tribes from New York believes the aurora is from the one who created the earth.  Once he was finished, he went to the far north and now he lights a fire that is reflected back to his people as the aurora lights.  In Estonia, it was believed that these lights were sleighs taking guests to a wedding.  Isn't that romantic.

A tribe in Wisconsin believed the lights were torches used by nice giants who fished at night.  Another group in northern Scandinavia hid indoors whenever the lights were out.  My favorite is that if you whistle, the lights will come down to take you but if you clap, the lights will run away.  These are but a few stories concerning the northern lights.  I think most countries have one or more stories concerning the lights.  I hope you enjoyed these few.

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