Myth & Legends about the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, have fascinated people for centuries. They have inspired countless myths, legends, and stories across cultures and throughout history. The Northern Lights have been seen as a symbol of magic, wonder, and spirituality. In this article, we will explore some of the most fascinating myths and stories about the Northern Lights.
In many indigenous cultures in the polar regions, the Northern Lights are seen as the spirits of the ancestors. The Inuit people of Canada and Greenland, for example, believe that the Northern Lights are the spirits of their deceased relatives who have gone to the afterlife. They believe that the spirits of the dead can communicate with the living through the Northern Lights.
Similarly, the Sami people of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia believe that the Northern Lights are the spirits of their ancestors. They believe that the lights are a sign of good fortune and that they have the power to heal and protect people from harm.
In Norse mythology, the Northern Lights are seen as a bridge between the mortal world and the divine. The Norse believed that the lights were a pathway for the gods to travel between their world and the world of mortals. They also believed that the Northern Lights were a sign of the end of the world, the Ragnarok, when the gods and giants would battle each other.
The Finnish Mythology
In Finnish mythology, the Northern Lights are known as “revontulet,” which means “fox fires.” According to legend, the lights are caused by a magical fox that runs across the sky, touching the snow with its tail, and creating sparks that turn into the Northern Lights.
In some cultures, the Northern Lights are seen as a bad omen. In the Inuit culture, for example, the lights are believed to be the spirits of deceased warriors who are angry and seeking revenge. Similarly, in some Scandinavian cultures, the lights are believed to be the souls of the dead who were not properly buried and are now seeking their revenge.
The most “popular” myth from the Japanese
In Japanese folklore, it is believed that if a woman becomes pregnant under the Northern Lights, her child will be blessed with good luck and fortune. According to the legend, the Northern Lights are the spirits of unborn children who are waiting to be born. When a child is conceived under the lights, the spirit of the child is said to join the other spirits, bringing good luck to the family.
The legend has its roots in the Ainu, an indigenous group in Japan who live in the northernmost island of Hokkaido. The Ainu believe that the Northern Lights are the spirits of their ancestors, and that they have the power to bring good luck and prosperity to those who see them. They also believe that the lights are a sign of the changing seasons and the arrival of the spring.
The legend of conceiving a child under the Northern Lights is not unique to Japan. In some Scandinavian cultures, it is also believed that if a child is conceived under the lights, they will be blessed with good luck and fortune. However, the Japanese legend adds an extra layer of magic and spirituality to the Northern Lights, emphasizing the connection between nature and human life.
While there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that conceiving under the Northern Lights will bring good luck and fortune, the legend remains a popular and beloved part of Japanese folklore.
In modern times, the Northern Lights continue to inspire awe and wonder in people all over the world. They are a symbol of the natural beauty and power of the Earth and the universe. While we now understand the scientific explanation for the Northern Lights, the myths and legends surrounding them remind us of the importance of our connection to the natural world and the power of our imaginations.